Sophomore point guard makes for memorable senior night at WC|[01/31/07]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Karnina Bunch’s development into a true point guard helped make for a nice senior night for Lady Vike veterans Brittany Willis, Shantta Taylor and Kaci Harris.

Bunch, a sophomore, dished out a career-best 11 assists and had only two turnovers in leading Warren Central to a 56-42 win over Madison Central Tuesday night at WC.

&#8220Karnina really sees the floor well and she’s getting the ball to the open girl. She’s become a force for us because she can also handle the ball,” said Willis, who was on the receiving end of three of Bunch’s assists in the fourth quarter, including two key 3-pointers that helped WC break away from a close game.

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&#8220It was all for the seniors,” Bunch said. &#8220I’ve become good with the assists. I like getting it to Brittany because she can make the long shots.”

WC coach Donny Fuller has become a big believer in his point guard.

&#8220Back when we started, Karnina was turning the ball over way too much. But now, her assist to turnover ratio is unbelievable. These last four or five games, she’s been at eight, nine, 10 assists a game, with only one or two turnovers,” Fuller said.

The win for the Lady Vikes (19-6, 4-1) was doubly nice since it moves them into a tie for first place in Division 3-5A with the Vicksburg Missy Gators (4-1). The two teams play Saturday for the regular season crown at VHS.

&#8220That’s what we hear. Saturday’s for first place,” Fuller added.

Madison Central (12-12, 2-3) appeared ready to upset those plans after jumping out to a 9-0 lead as Fuller started an all-senior line-up which left Bunch and the team’s leading scorer Sha’Kayla Caples on the bench.

&#8220It kinda shows we need our point guard and our post,” Willis said.

Once Bunch entered, Willis got untracked with two baskets and Caples added two more as WC pulled to within 15-9 after one quarter.

Caples hit four straight shots to begin the second quarter and then WC went cold, missing their last seven shots of the quarter as Madison built a 24-17 halftime lead.

The third quarter was a different story. All five of WC’s regular starters scored led by Bunch, who dropped in a pair of 3-pointers. Willis had four points and three assists while Harris and Taylor had a pair of baskets as WC took the lead for the first time and led 38-36 entering the final quarter.

The Lady Jaguars scored the first four points of the fourth quarter for their final lead at 40-38 and then it was all WC.

Bunch’s steal and quick assist to an open Willis for a 3-pointer, ignited a decisive 14-0 run. Willis had a second trey off a Bunch assist and then a Bunch steal led to two Willis free throws that put WC up 52-40 with 2:40 to play.

Madison’s Morgan Miller finally ended the drought with 2:32 left but the Lady Jaguars could get no closer than 10 points.

&#8220We played three great quarters and then WC got a hot hand,” Madison coach Jackie Suggett said. &#8220We had a great effort, we just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.”

Caples ended with 18 points for WC. Madison was led by Keosha Ransom with 20 points.

(B) WC 65, Madison Central 55

The Vikings (13-13, 3-2) jumped out to a 20-point lead early in the second quarter and then held on by making seven straight free throws to upend division leader and defending Class 5A state champion Madison Central (15-11, 4-1).

Viking coach Jesse Johnson was elated with the win.

&#8220This was our biggest wins of the year,” he said. &#8220The big thing was we got quality minutes from our second four – our No. 6, 7, 8 and 9 guys.”

WC senior Mario Luckett keyed the Viking start by scoring 10 of his 23 points in the opening quarter as the Vikings raced out to a 20-4 lead. It was 24-4 before the Jaguars finally got going and managed to play on even terms until a final surge late in the fourth quarter.

Eight points from Jeremy Adams and three free throws by Bradley Peterson pulled Madison to within five at 59-54 with 1:28 left.

The Vikings responded getting offensive putback by Jeremy Smith and four straight free throws by Luckett to stop the comeback.

Shone Ester had 16 for the Vikings. Vincent Powell led WC with 20 and Adams had 10.

(B) St. Al 60, Bogue Chitto 46

Chase Smith scored 24 points as the Flashes (14-8, 6-3) stayed in second place in Division 7-1A in the final regular season home game at St. Al.

John Robert Burnett added 14 points and Marsh Willis had 12. Mario Addison paced Bogue Chitto with 18 points.