Lady Vikes become titans of the trey

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008

Warren Central was facing its biggest physical challenge in Northwest Rankin and saw a big lead dwindling.

Then lightning struck. Point guard Karnina Bunch found an open spot and drilled a 3-pointer to morph a seven-point lead into a 10-point advantage.

Northwest responded with a short jumper. Bunch again moved expertly without the basketball to an open spot and drained another trifecta.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The Lady Cougars never closed the gap closer than seven points the rest of the way.

That’s the power of the 3-pointer and it has been something important in Warren Central’s 7-0 start this season.

The first thing that fans think about when asked about the Lady Vikes is the ability of forward Sha’Kayla Caples and Bunch to get to the hoop and finish in traffic.

But there is one aspect to the Lady Vikes that has proved just as important: the 3-pointer.

The team is shooting more than 40 percent from behind the arc, thus making teams pay for doubling Caples and Bunch on their drives to the basket.

The proof is in the team’s scoring average. Last year, the Lady Vikes averaged 52.8 points per outing. This year, they’re averaging 74.6 per contest. Granted, it is still early and they have not gotten into Division 6-5A play. But the trend bodes well for the future of this team in division play and beyond.

It all started in this summer’s State Games, when the Lady Vikes shot out the lights and opened some eyes statewide.

They drained 39 3-pointers in eight games, with Bunch supplying 23 of them. WC coach Donny Fuller knew that the improved accuracy from behind the arc would reap benefits later on.

“It opens up so many things,” Fuller said. “It makes other teams pay when they pack it in. It can really flip the momentum of an entire game.”

While teams before could ensure that covering Bunch at the arc would eliminate the 3-point barrage, now WC is hitting the mark as a team. Last season, it shot 30 percent from behind the arc. This year, it’s up to 42.3 percent.

Guard Deshaundra Eatmon and Dequanna Kilbert are both shooting 50 percent from 3-point range, combining for 13 treys. Bunch is 12-for-30 and Sh’Qulla Neal has made 2 of 4.

“We’ve got several kids who are really hitting it,” Fuller said.

“In practice, we do a lot of shooting drills,” Eatmon said. “We’ve worked really hard on that.”

Another big boost from a made 3 is the spring it puts in the step of the entire team. A team that drains a 3 to open a lead or close a lead gets a momentum boost that carries over to the defensive end.

“It really boosts you up,” Eatmon said. “It makes you play that much harder.”

If you ask Fuller, the shot has changed the game in a positive way. It gives smaller, quicker teams an equalizer when battling bigger, stronger teams. It allows teams to rapidly get back into ball games.

While there has been talk of moving the line outward, Fuller is not one of those advocates.

“I think the line is good where it is,” Fuller said. “I think that it is just the right distance for a girl to shoot it and it shoot it well.”


Contact Steve Wilson at