Phelps powers Gators past Indians|[11/8/06]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Jonathan Phelps began Tuesday night with the hot hand for the Vicksburg Gators. A couple hours later, the rest of his team was enjoying a hot start too.

Phelps scored 22 of his game-high 35 points in the first quarter, helping Vicksburg to a 28-1 lead at the end of the period and an easy 89-40 win over Hazlehurst in the first round of the Vicksburg Warren Classic.

&#8220I was just feeling it,” said Phelps, who also had five steals and was 11-of-14 from the field. &#8220I wanted to come out strong and get the lead early, and that’s what we did.”

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Jabri Williams added 11 points and Levextwin Trunell had 10 for the Gators, who will host Canton, a 68-53 winner over Forest Hill, on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

The outcome of Tuesday’s game was never in doubt.

Phelps scored 12 points during a 15-0 run to start the game, and the Gators’ defense held Hazlehurst without a field goal until the opening minute of the second quarter.

Phelps hit two 3-pointers in the first eight minutes, along with four free throws and a half-dozen layups. His first-quarter output was more than Hazlehurst could muster through the first three quarters. Vicksburg led 48-16 at halftime and 70-21 heading into the fourth quarter.

Hazlehurst (1-2), which took the court without six regulars who are still playing football, committed 30 turnovers in the game and shot 36.1 percent from the field.

&#8220The only thing we told the kids was to play hard for the last 16 minutes like we did in the first half,” Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson said. &#8220Don’t let down. I thought the kids played hard the entire ballgame.”

(G) VHS 46, Canton 36.

After nearly three quarters of competitive, but sloppy, basketball, Vicksburg’s Taylor Ammons livened things up a bit.

The junior center scored three points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked a shot during a decisive 7-0 VHS run late in the third quarter, sparking the Missy Gators to a 10-point victory. The run gave Vicksburg a 35-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and Canton never got closer than nine points again.

&#8220When I get my momentum going, I don’t see nothing, don’t hear nothing but the goal and my teammates,” said Ammons, who also had 12 rebounds and four steals.”

Rachel Jenkins added 10 points and seven rebounds, Keisha Collins had seven points and eight assists, and Tiffany Williams scored nine points for Vicksburg, which will host Forest Hill in the winner’s bracket Thursday at 7 p.m.

The game between Vicksburg and Canton was a typical early-season affair, with lots of turnovers and missed layups on both sides.

Vicksburg’s Kamiko Martin drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner as time expired in the first half to break a 22-22 tie. After playing to a stalemate for the first six minutes of the third quarter, Ammons took over late.

Her outburst keyed the deciding run, and another 3-pointer by Martin with four minutes left in the game made sure Canton was finished. Martin’s second 3-pointer put the Missy Gators ahead 44-30, and they cruised home from there.