WC, Vicksburg bow out of JPS Tournament|[12/28/06]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2006

Third-quarter swoon dooms Lady Vikes.

By Sean P. Murphy.

JACKSON – Digging out of a double-digit hole proved easier for Warren Central than staying on top.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The Lady Vikes, who trailed by as many as 19 in the first half, led by as many as four in the third quarter before a fourth-quarter meltdown allowed Provine to take a 63-50 win in the second round of the Jackson Public Schools Tournament.

The game hinged on a critical final 21 seconds of the third quarter. Warren Central had clawed its way back to a lead, but watched as Provine tied the game at 44. A scrum under the basket allowed the ball to roll toward the out of bounds line, but instead of letting it roll, Provine senior standout Brittany Johnson sank the third of her three 3-pointers to give the Lady Rams a 47-44 lead.

Two Lady Vikes turnovers – three WC starters were on the bench being protected from foul trouble – resulted in two more Provine baskets and the Lady Rams took a 51-44 lead.

&#8220The whole time I am going, ‘let’s just get to the fourth quarter so we can get some of our starters back in the ballgame,’” WC coach Donny Fuller said. &#8220Add to that we got real careless with the basketball. There was one time when we threw it in where we didn’t even look to where we were throwing.”

WC turned the ball over on its first possession of the fourth quarter and Provine (7-3) parlayed that first turnover into 10 straight points to put the game away.

&#8220It makes you scratch your head,” Fuller said. &#8220I told our kids that they played too hard to get back in this ballgame and lose it the way we did. This is not typical of our bunch.”

Johnson led all scorers with 29 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the floor. Cierra Ramsey scored 12 points and Kianna Harris added 10 in the win.

As for the Lady Vikes, they will be off until a Jan. 9 game against Clinton. Fuller said he planned to have his players at practice this morning at 7:30 and for them not to tell their parents how long they would be at practice.

&#8220We were supposed to meet at the school at 7:30 for Jackson, so we will meet anyway,” Fuller said.

Missy Gators lose to Lanier in second round.

By Jeff Byrd.

JACKSON – A poor shooting second half doomed the Vicksburg Missy Gators and cost them a shot at facing No. 1 ranked Murrah in today’s semifinals of the Jackson Public Schools Tournament at Lanier.

Instead it will be the Lanier Lady Bulldogs coached by Vicksburg High graduate Jonas James Jr., who will get to play Murrah after their 46-44 win over Vicksburg Wednesday night. It was the second straight basket or less victory for the Lanier girls in the JPS Tournament. On Tuesday, Lanier defeated two-time Class 5A finalist Meridian 44-43.

Against Vicksburg, Lanier had to battle back from a 29-23 halftime deficit. The Lady Bulldogs (9-4) made up the difference and then some by shooting 50 percent (10-of-20) in the second half compared to the Missy Gators’ 22 percent (6-of-27).

&#8220We couldn’t hit the ocean,” VHS coach Barbara Hartzog said.

James, who was a basketball manager for the Gators and graduated in 1987, was more upbeat and very complimentary of his alma mater.

&#8220Our girls matched Vicksburg’s intensity. It was the first time this year we hustled like the Missy Gators do. If we could do that every game, we’d be tough to beat,” James said.

Hartzog, however, could just bemoan the missed opportunities.

&#8220They give up too easy,” Hartzog said of her team that also had 12 second half turnovers and 24 for the game. &#8220There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s up to them to believe they can do it.”

Trailing by four, Vicksburg (9-6) got to within one at 40-39 when Rachel Jenkins powered in a basket and was fouled. She made the free throw to cap the 3-point play with six minutes and one second left.

The Missy Gators had a golden chance to retake the lead they had lost in the third quarter when Tiffany Williams stole a Lanier pass at midcourt and was headed toward the basket. Williams overshot the goal. VHS center Taylor Ammons grabbed the miss, but also overshot the basket with 4:50 left.

Ammons later fouled out with 3:35 left, sending her nine points and seven rebounds to the bench. Williams and Kamiko Martin both missed 3-pointers that could’ve tied the game at 44-all. On the second miss, Lanier grabbed the long rebound and that led to a wide open basket by Tierra Christian that put the Lady Bulldogs up 46-41 with 45 seconds to play.

Vicksburg still had a chance, though, when LaJuana Thomas made only the sixth shot from the field in the second half for the Missy Gators. A steal set up Jenkins getting fouled with 19.4 seconds left. She made 1 of 2 free throws to cut it to 46-44.

Lanier’s Jaerica Young had a shot to ice the game with 8.6 seconds left but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. The rebound skipped past the Missy Gators and Young recovered with 0.6 seconds to go.

(B) VHS 93, Forest Hill 76.

Vicksburg (11-4) took a 17-point lead into the half and handed Forest Hill (13-4) its second straight loss in the JPS Tournament.

Four Gators scored in double figures, led by Jonathan Phelps’ 33 points. John Qualls had 17, Jaybri Williams 16 and Maurice Williams 12.