WC tops Vicksburg with a Bunch of 3s

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 16, 2008

The season’s second edition of Vicksburg vs. Warren Central came down to simple math.

Even in bunches, three is greater than two.

Warren Central hit eight 3-pointers in the second half — six of them in the third quarter — and held off a furious second-half comeback bid to beat the Missy Gators for the second time in eight days Saturday, 79-69.

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Sha’Kayla Caples led WC (4-0) with 27 points, Karnina Bunch added 18 and DeDe Eatmon had 16. Kamiko Martin had a game-high 29 points off the bench for Vicksburg (2-2), which scored 52 points in the second half and shot 13-for-15 from the field in the fourth quarter but never got closer than 10 points.

“Any time you make nine 3-balls like we did today, it’s going to open a lot of things up. It’s like pick your poison,” WC coach Donny Fuller said.

Warren Central had a 16-point lead at halftime, and pushed it to as many as 25 in the third quarter with its sharp shooting from the outside. Bunch hit two 3-pointers, then assisted Eatmon for another to key a 12-3 run that put the Lady Vikes ahead 51-30 with 3:10 left in the third quarter.

Vicksburg didn’t go away, though. It scored 23 points in the third quarter and came up with a seemingly endless string of steals and transition layups in the fourth to whittle the deficit to 13, 67-54, with about four minutes to play. The Missy Gators hit their first five shots of the quarter, and hit three 3-pointers while outscoring WC 29-18 over the last eight minutes. Two quick treys by the Lady Vikes put the game out of reach, though.

Bunch hit a pair of 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to push the lead back to 19, 73-54, with 3:28 to play and the Missy Gators spent the last few minutes making up the ground they had lost in just a few seconds.

“They were hitting everything. Give them credit,” Vicksburg coach Barbara Hartzog said. “Then (Bunch) hit those two threes in the fourth quarter. That just took our momentum away. It’s not always the team with the most points that plays the better game.”

Fuller agreed. He said he was glad to have a 25-point lead before Vicksburg caught fire.

“I was not pleased with the way we played in the second half. We got careless with the basketball and Vicksburg got hot. They were red hot in the fourth quarter,” Fuller said. “Our goal is to give up about 50 points a game. We gave up 52 in the second half. They are not going to be happy when I show them the film of this game.”

(B) Vicksburg 67, WC 53

Warren Central played well on Saturday. Vicksburg just had a little Mo.

Senior forward Maurice Williams scored a game-high 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds and three assists, and led the Gators past their archrivals.

“I think Maurice stepped it up tonight. He’s our leader, so he’s expected to do that,” Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson said.

Kelsey Howard added 18 points points for the Gators, and Denzell Erves had seven points and seven rebounds. Dino Harris led Warren Central with 16 points, Martez Carroll scored 14, and Malcolm Harper had seven points and nine rebounds.

Williams and Howard each hit a 3-pointer, and Howard added a thunderous breakaway dunk to key a 10-2 run late in the second quarter that put the Gators ahead 39-28 at the half.

The surge capped an entertaining first half in which the teams attempted a combined 27 3-pointers. The second half turned into more of a defensive struggle, though, as a slew of fouls slowed the game. Both teams were in the bonus by the end of the third quarter. Vicksburg was 23-for-35 from the free throw line for the game, while Warren Central went 13-for-20.

“I think fatigue set in on both ballclubs,” Robinson said. “And both of us were playing that one-two half-court trap. That will slow you down, too.”

Vicksburg stretched its lead to 47-32 midway through the third quarter, but Warren Central used an 8-1 run late in the period to get it back to single digits. The Vikings just couldn’t get any closer.

A 3-pointer by Roosevelt Harris and a putback layup by Erves pushed the lead back to 51-43 with 4:54 left in the game, and WC didn’t get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

“Coach said to lock them down, so that’s what we did,” said Williams, who also had two steals and went 9-for-16 from the foul line.


Contact Ernest Bowker at ebowker@vicksburgpost.com.