Locals victorious in all six classic games|[1/29/06]
Published 12:00 am Monday, January 30, 2006
Needing a win in the worst way, the Vicksburg Gators turned to their two most reliable scorers and a key reserve to defeat Newton County 61-51 in the Red Carpet Classic.
Before the boys’ victory, Tiffany Williams scored 21 points to pace the Missy Gators to a 66-51 win and an RCB trophy.
On Friday night, The Gators (12-11) lost a heartbreaker to Jim Hill on a last-second 3-pointer. But on Saturday, behind 19 points from Brandon Harper and 14 from Jonathan Phelps, the Gators got the sour taste from Friday out of their mouths.
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“We needed a win badly,” VHS coach Dellie C. Robinson said. “We came out with a lot of intensity, then held on for the victory.”
Vicksburg controlled the first half, building a double-digit lead late in the second quarter. Fred Denton, one of the Gators’ key players off the bench, nailed three 3-pointers in the second quarter, and the quarter ended with some emotion.
With time running down, Phelps missed a 3-pointer, but Harper seemingly flew out of nowhere to slam home the rebound for a 36-22 lead and an extra spark going into the half.
“It made us feel good and we knew that we had to come out and win the third quarter,” Phelps said. “If we win the third quarter, we knew we would win the game.”
Newton County won the third quarter, 16-12, and began making charges throughout. The Cougars (15-9) cut the lead to 40-36 on a Chris Moore 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 42 seconds to play in the quarter.
“We got too relaxed on defense and offense,” Phelps said.
Harper responded with four straight points and the Gators re-gained a 10-point advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Newton County had another charge in it, however, again cutting the lead to four late in the fourth quarter, 55-51. The Gators scored the final six points of the game to finish off the victory.
“We both lost tough games last night,” said Newton County coach Johnny Slaughter, whose team lost at Carthage on Friday night. “I didn’t know the effort both teams would come out with, but I thought both teams played hard. Vicksburg jumps really well, but I thought our guys battled in there with them all game.”
Craig Pruitt led the Cougars with 16 points and Duke Hudnall netted 13.
(G) VHS 66, Newton County 51.
Williams scored 8 of her 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Missy Gators pulled away from Newton County.
After Newton County cut the deficit to 49-46 midway through the fourth quarter, Williams hit two straight shots and then converted a four-point play soon after as the Missy Gators outscored Newton County 17-5 over the final five minutes of the game.
Kristin Ellis scored 13 points and Rachel Jenkins chipped in 11.
Vicksburg led 30-25 at the half and extended the lead to nine going into the fourth.
Betina McDougle scored a team-high 17 points and Chan Moore scored 13 in the loss.