Lady Vikes find team with spring game|[05/19/07]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ever since he’s been coaching at Warren Central, Donny Fuller has had a Red-Blue spring basketball game.

For Fuller, the game-like scrimmage which uses real refs and a time clock, plays an important tool in determining who gets to stay around for the Lady Vikes’ summer program. Friday night’s contest served as a wrap-up of a three-day tryout period.

&#8220Our tryout period lasts three days and what we have to do is cut down to 20 players,” Fuller said. &#8220We practiced for two days but then I like to put them in a game-like situation. I’ve seen a lot of times where a player has done better in the game than what they may have done in practice.

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&#8220We had 25 come out for our varsity program this time and I’m going to have to cut five after tonight,” Fuller said.

Even managers have to go through a tryout process to be a part of the Lady Vikes.

&#8220I usually get eight or 10 to come out and I keep the best five. It usually comes down to how hard they work,” Fuller said. &#8220But I have had a case recently where I needed a manager to become a player because we were in need of another post player so we could practice.”

So he can use his time evaluating the talent, Fuller lets his departing seniors coach the Red and Blue teams during the game. Brittany Willis and Kaci Harris coached the Blues, which featured rising junior and All-Warren County point guard Karnina Bunch. Shantta Taylor coached the Reds, which was led by two-time returning Vicksburg Post Player of the Year Sha’Kayla Caples.

When Fuller sets his roster, the Lady Vikes can look forward to another busy June. The team will again compete in the Central Basketball League.

&#8220We’ll be competing with a little different group,” Fuller said. &#8220The Jackson schools have decided to stay within its own group. Our league will have Forest Hill, Port Gibson, Madison Central, Ridgeland and Jackson Prep. We’ll start with a game the Saturday after graduation.”

But there’s more.

On June 1-3, Warren Central will host the State AAU tournament.

&#8220This is going to be the biggest its ever been for the upper age groups. We’re looking to have nine teams which includes a team from North Mississippi which has already qualified for the national tournament,” Fuller said. &#8220We use our regular team to play in the AAU. We’re not looking to go to nationals, even though we have won the thing twice.”

The Lady Vikes will conclude the summer with their annual trek to the State Games of Mississippi in Meridian. WC made it to the gold medal game last year before falling to Class 3A power Southeast Lauderdale.