Caples unstoppable in win over Natchez|[01/16/08]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 16, 2008

She twisted through the lane for one-handed jumpers. She backed down defenders, then buried a long jump shot. When needed, she acted as point guard taking the ball down the court and draining shot after shot.

Now in her junior year, the list of things Warren Central’s Sha’Kayla Caples can’t do on a basketball court is getting smaller and smaller.

The two-time defending Vicksburg Post Player of the Year scored a ridiculous 39 points on 15-of-21 shooting to give WC a 68-60 victory over sixth-ranked Natchez on Tuesday night.

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“I told Caples after the game that for the next year and a half she better get ready because we are going to ride that horse,” said Fuller, whose team avenged an earlier loss to Natchez and improved to 14-7 on the season. “I’m not so sure she is not the best player in the state right now.

“I have seen some good ones, but there is no doubt she is the best junior in the state. The Lord blessed her with a lot of talent and she has worked extremely hard at developing her game.”

After missing her first shot, Caples connected on 14 of 18 field goals and also went 9-for-9 from the free throw line. As if that wasn’t good enough, she snagged 15 rebounds, had two steals and a blocked shot. The only reason she was held under 40 was the fact that as Natchez (18-2) creeped closer, the Lady Vikes went into a delay game.

Natchez’s Alia Frank, who led the team with 26 points, hit a basket with two minutes to play to get the score to 63-59. The Lady Vikes then ran more than a minute off the clock before Caples scored the last of her points to give WC a 65-59 lead.

Frank fouled out on the next possession and Ricille Davis connected on three free throws to make the final margin eight points. It was a stark contrast to their first meeting, a 69-57 Natchez win in the Vicksburg Warren Classic. The Lady Bulldogs were playing without starter Jennifer Jackson in this game. Keosha Bradley had 13 for Natchez.

Warren Central point guard Karnina Bunch, who was suffering from a stomach virus, scored nine of her 12 points in a first quarter that saw WC build a 23-11 lead.

Natchez cut the lead to six at halftime and five going into the fourth quarter.

(B) Natchez 54, WC 46

Dwong Hughes and James Reed each scored 14 points as the Bulldogs held off Warren Central.

Dino Harris led WC with 18 points and Jeremye Smith had 12, but the Vikings never wrestled the lead away from Natchez. The Vikings led 10-9, then played catch-up the rest of the way. They got the deficit down to one on several occassions, but that was followed by a Natchez run.

The Vikings are scheduled to play at Greenville on Friday at 7:30 p.m.