Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 24, 2008

begin summer seasons today|[05/24/08]

Vicksburg High and Warren Central’s girls will get a jump on their summer basketball seasons with a Memorial Day weekend tournament this morning at WC.

The Warren County Shoot-out will be the beginning of another busy summer for Warren Central coach Donny Fuller’s team.

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“We’ve got seven new players moving up and I wanted to use this tournament to get better and see how these seven sophomores will react to game situations. We want to mix them in with our regulars coming back. We had five teams, but Crystal Springs dropped out. Now, with four, it’s a true round-robin and everyone will get to play three games. That’s good for us because I can play everybody in every game,” Fuller said.

WC opens the tournament against crosstown rival Vicksburg High at 8:30 a.m. The Missy Gators will then play Ridgeland at 9:40 a.m. WC and Wesson play at 10:50, followed by Vicksburg and Wesson at noon. WC plays Ridgeland at 1:10 and the day concludes with Ridgeland and Wesson playing at 2:20.

The Lady Vikes missed the Class 5A playoffs last year after going 15-13 and falling to Provine in the division tournament.

WC returns three-time Vicksburg Post Player of the Year in rising senior Sha’Kayla Caples and All-Warren County point guard Karnina Bunch.

“With Caples and Bunch that’s two with a ton of playing time. I just need them to step up and be leaders. We lost three seniors from last year in Vernadette Hale, Heather Casey and Brittany Erves. But we have a good balance coming back with four seniors, four juniors and the seven sophomores,” Fuller said.

The WC Shoot-out will mark the first of 20 to 25 games this summer for the Lady Vikes.

“We’re actually going to play a few more games this summer. We made an adjustment with our summer league and they’ll be some nights where we play two games at a given site.

“We’re also hosting the State AAU Tournament again next week. We’ll have a team in all three divisions. We’ll have the only high school team in the field while everybody else will be a select team.

“It’s going to be a busy week for us. We play three games (today) then two on Tuesday and two more Wednesday in our league and then go right into the AAU Tournament,” Fuller said.

WC begins play in the seven-team, Central Mississippi Basketball League on Tuesday at Hinds AHS. The Lady Vikes will play the Lady WarDawgs at 5 p.m. and then face Class 4A power Forest Hill at 6. On Thursday, WC heads to Ridgeland to play the Lady Titans at 5 and Madison St. Joseph at 6. The other two schools in the CML are Madison Central and Jackson Prep.