Natchez wins easily over Lady Vikes|[11/07/07]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It’s easy to tell how the Warren Central Lady Vikes are faring in the amount of time it takes coach Donny Fuller to shed his signature sportcoat.

On Tuesday in the Lady Vikes’ opener, it took less than 12 minutes.

Keosha Bradley scored a team-high 19 points and Alia Frank scored 18 as Natchez defeated Warren Central 59-47 in the first game of the Vicksburg Warren Classic at WC.

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The Lady Vikes (0-1) are scheduled to play Canton on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the six-team tournament. Natchez is set to play Port Gibson on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Vicksburg High.

“For the last three years we really have struggled, so to get a win in the first game of the year is … fantastic,” Natchez coach Sue Johnson said. “And to come out and beat a good team like Warren Central gives us a lift, a confidence heading into the season.”

The Lady Bulldogs (1-0) led throughout the game, outhustled Warren Central to loose balls and rebounds and shut down most of the Lady Vikes’ offense. Two-time reigning Vicksburg Post Player of the Year Sha’Kayla Caples scored a game-high 29 points, snagged 11 rebounds and blocked five shots.

She had little help from her teammates scoring as sophomore Ricille Davis was the second-leading scorer with five points. Karnina Bunch and Brittany Erves each had four points in the loss, and Natchez’s Jennifer Jackson poured in 10.

Natchez led by five at the end of the first quarter and extended the lead to 19-11 at the 3 minute, 20 second mark of the second quarter. That’s when Fuller shed the jacket, rolled up his sleeves and did everything to ignite a team playing without prospective starting center Bailey Anderton because of an illness and starting three players who had seen limited, at best, game action.

Natchez led by 10 at halftime, then extended the lead to 11 in the third quarter before Caples hit six straight points to get the deficit down to five at 32-27.

The Lady Vikes could not get within five the rest of the way.

“I’m real proud of our team and I hope we can keep this focus,” Johnson said.

Warren Central’s boys and girls are scheduled to host Canton on Thursday.