Vikings fall just short in upset bid|[12/28/06]
Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2006
BRANDON – All game long, Warren Central dominated the boards against Canton. The one rebound the Vikings lapsed on, and the one they couldn’t grab, are the ones that will stick in their minds the most, though.
Canton’s Andre Holiday tipped in a missed 3-pointer by Javared Blackman with 8 seconds left to give the Tigers a thrilling 58-57 win over Warren Central in the Northwest Rankin Tournament on Wednesday.
WC had one last chance to win, but Mario Luckett’s 3-pointer with 1 second left was short, and teammate Chris Hood was unable to hang onto the rebound for a potential game-winning tip-in.
Email newsletter signup
“That’s been our make up the whole year. We play good for three or four minutes, but we don’t have that nine- or 10-man rotation and we lose focus for a few minutes,” said WC coach Jesse Johnson, whose team lost its sixth straight game and fell to 5-10 on the season. “I thought we played a real good game. Probably one of our better games. But we have to take better care of the basketball.”
Kenitric Gillum led Canton (14-3) with 17 points, and Kendrick Black scored 16.
WC lost despite shooting 54.7 percent from the field and outrebounding Canton 32-20. Luckett led the Vikings with 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Shone Ester added 17 points and six assists.
And now the Vikings will have little time to regroup before their next challenge. They play Hazlehurst, a team they lost to earlier this season, in a consolation-round game today at 12:15 p.m. at Northwest Rankin.
The Vikings bolted to a double-digit lead in the first quarter against Canton and led by five points, 55-50, with three minutes left in the game.
Canton’s 3-point shooting got hot at all the right times, though, and brought the Tigers back again and again. Canton went 9-for-12 from the field in the second quarter to take a 33-29 lead at halftime, then finished the game with an 8-1 run.
After a pair of layups by Shone Ester gave WC the 55-50 lead with three minutes left, Black and Gillum each hit a 3-pointer to put Canton in front 56-55 a minute later.
“It was more hot and cold. We were getting open looks, and it just wasn’t falling. Tonight was not a good shooting night for us,” said Canton coach Melvin Gillum, whose team went 8-for-31 from 3-point range.
After Kenitric Gillum’s trey gave Canton the lead, the Tigers got the ball back off a WC miss and tried to burn the clock. Black missed a 3-pointer with a little over a minute left and the Vikings grabbed the rebound. On the other end, Hood hit a layup for his only points of the game and gave WC a 57-56 lead with 43 seconds left.
Hood missed a free throw, though, to open the door for Canton. The Tigers worked the clock down to 12 seconds before calling timeout, then got the ball to Blackman in the right corner.
Blackman missed, but no one blocked out Holiday and he tipped in the rebound for the last of his seven points and a 58-57 lead with 8 seconds left. Luckett’s last-second shot was short off the front of the rim for WC, and Hood was unable to corral the rebound as time expired.