Vikings stumble against Greenville|[02/02/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 2, 2008

Warren Central will be hosting the Division 2-5A Tournament in two weeks but they will do so as the fourth seed in a four-team tournament in both the boys and girls divisions.

Greenville-Weston came to WC Friday night and picked up a pair of division road wins as the Hornets downed the Vikings 69-57, while the Honey Bees upset the Lady Vikes 55-40.

The boys loss caps an 0-6 run through the division round-robin. Greenville-Weston (14-9, 3-2) will be no worse than third when the division tournament tips off, which is something that was not lost on first-year coach Ernie Watson.

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“It was an ugly game. We did enough to get a win on the road in the division and we’ll be able to stay away from Provine,” Watson said. The Hornets will draw Clinton in the division tournament while WC (4-23) gets the powerful Provine Rams.

“We’re trying real hard, but we just struggle too bad on offense. We missed 10 layups and had five drawn charges,” WC coach Jesse Johnson said. “We’ve shown a little progress but when you have seven guys who’ve never played basketball before, it’s tough. It’s hard to learn out there in one year.”

The Vikings managed to stay in the game until the final two minutes. A three-point play by Jeremye Smith made it 54-47 with 1:40 left. A basket and two free throws from James McPhreson sealed it for Greenville-Weston.

“I started my normal group tonight after sitting them down against Provine last Tuesday,” Watson said. “I wanted to send a message. But tonight, my bench didn’t play as well as they need to. That made it an ugly game.”

The Hornets took 68 shots and made just 22 (32 percent). They also turned it over 19 times.

The second quarter was dreadful for both teams. They combined to shoot just 3-for-23 from the field and had 14 turnovers.

WC, though, made 6 of 8 free throws to stay within four at 24-20. They were down three when Greenville finally scored back-to-back baskets to go up 38-31.

A drive by Akeem Richardson put the Hornets up 46-36 with 6:08 to play.

Smith led the Vikings with a game-best 16 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals.

Demario Collins led Greenville with 14 points while Richardson had 12 and James Carter chipped in 10.

(G) Greenville 55, WC 40

Two-time Vicksburg Post Player of the Year Sha’Kayla Caples was benched for the first half and the Lady Vikes (15-11, 1-5) could not recover against the Honey Bees.

WC coach Donny Fuller declined to comment on Caples’ absence. The junior forward did play the second half and finished with 10 points.

Breanna Lewis scored 19 to lead the Honey Bees (14-9). She had 11 in the third quarter as they went up by 19 points, 37-18, with 3:40 left. Carnissa Jackson had 13 and Marchetta Parker added 10 for Greenville. Karnina Bunch had 10 for WC.