Lady Vikes finish summer with a victory|[06/27/07]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A banner summer, which included a State Games gold medal and a Central Mississippi Basketball League championship, has the Warren Central Lady Vikes looking forward to next season.

The Lady Vikes wrapped up their summer schedule by beating Port Gibson 49-35 in the CMBL championship game Tuesday at WC. On Sunday, WC won its first gold medal in 16 trips to the State Games of Mississippi in Meridian.

&#8220It was about time we won the gold medal after all those silvers we had won,” WC coach Donny Fuller said. &#8220This was a good summer for us. We played 23 games in 32 days and that’s asking a lot out of a team.

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&#8220The biggest thing is that I saw progress from the beginning. We got better as we went along.”

Returning All-Warren County point guard Karnina Bunch said the Lady Vikes rode a strong offense in reeling off six wins in the State Games and added one more in the CMBL title game.

&#8220We worked hard and we found our offense in the last week,” said Bunch, a rising junior. &#8220We had people stepping up and making shots.”

One of the newcomers who shined is rising senior forward Vernadette Hale, a transfer from Vicksburg High. Hale averaged 7.6 points in the six State Games contests, including a 13-point and an 11-point effort.

&#8220I felt I did pretty good when my shots fell. I didn’t have too many go down today,” said Hale who hasn’t played on a varsity level in three years. &#8220… Even though I haven’t played with this group, I’ll still be a senior and that means I’ve got to be a leader. I think we have a team that’s good enough to go back to the Big House,” Hale said.

One big reason why is two-time Vicksburg Post Player of the Year Sha’Kayla Caples. The rising junior led the Lady Vikes, averaging 17 points per game in the State Games. She capped off the weekend with a 24-point effort in WC’s 55-54 win over Southeast Lauderdale in the gold medal game.

&#8220My outside game has gotten better and we’ve had a lot of our other players get a lot better,” Caples said. &#8220(Hale) is someone who has a real good jumper and today Dede (Deshanndra Eatmon) made some good shots, and she’s just a freshman.”

Eatmon had a big impact in the CMBL final by dropping in three first-half 3-pointers to snap an 11-11 tie. The shots spurred the Lady Vikes (16-7) to a 27-15 halftime lead and they cruised in the second half.

&#8220We went 5-4 in league play, 2-1 in our shootout, 2-2 in the AAU Tournament and 6-0 at the State Games,” Fuller said. &#8220In only two of the losses, we didn’t have a shot in. And that was against the select team, the Mississippi Lady Bulldogs, who are going on to nationals in Orlando.

&#8220The Hale girl shot the ball well this summer and we had other kids who didn’t play a whole lot last year, come on and showed some progress,” Fuller added.

The Lady Waves were led by Lillian Porter with 13 points and Eugenia Grigsby had 12.

&#8220I had been working with the Houston Comets during the summer,” said Port Gibson coach Harold Liggans, a former WNBA assistant coach. &#8220It’s helped us to have this team this year in Port Gibson. We went 9-6 with a team that has four eighth graders.”