Turnovers plague Gators in defeat

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2008

Callaway’s offense may have taken a hit when 6-foot-8 forward LaQuinton Ross transferred to Murrah, but the Charger defense has gotten better. Callaway’s guard tandem of Deville Smith and Julysses Nobles forced Vicksburg into 27 turnovers and the Chargers won going away, 47-34, Tuesday night at the Gators Gym.

The Gators (3-3, 0-2 in Division 3-4A) were again without All-County forward Mychal Ammons because of ligament damage to his ankle. Ammons could be back after Christmas. He’s missed the last four games and the Gators have gone 1-3 in his absence.

Callaway coach Wayne Brent knows the Gators will be a much tougher team to defend than they were Tuesday.

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“The whole game will change when Ammons comes back. Our guards did a really good job of defense. They (Vicksburg) are still real solid on the back line, but they are pretty young out front and we took advantage of that,” Brent said.

Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson agreed.

“We know we need Mike, but I’ve got to find someone who can handle the basketball. Callaway’s defense was pretty good. I tried everybody I had, but they wouldn’t let them do nothing,” Robinson said.

Vicksburg’s turnover problem started in the first quarter when they made nine errors against Callaway’s half-court zone trap. Nobles scored nine of his 11 points to convert the Chargers into a 19-13 lead.

Vicksburg got to within 27-22 at halftime and then made it 32-29 early in the third quarter when Kelsey Howard drained a 3-pointer. But the Chargers made use of nine more Gator turnovers to stem the tide and take a 36-29 lead into the fourth quarter.

Back-to-back steals from Smith fueled a 9-2 run to give Callaway its largest lead at 45-31 with 2:22 to go. Howard, who had 15 points to lead the Gators, hit another three to get it back to 11, but that was as close as VHS could get in the final 1:30.

“We’re still working on a lot of our traps, but the good thing tonight was that we got back two guys who’ve been out in Corey Young and Ced Lawson,” said Brent of his team that improved to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the division.

Smith finished with 18 points and seven steals for Callaway. Darius Williams had eight points and four assists for the Gators.

Callaway girls top VHS, 68-56

Alisa Ross scored 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Chargers (6-4, 2-0) overcame a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit to down the Missy Gators (3-3, 1-1) Tuesday night.

Ross finished with 25 points and led the Callaway comeback from a 48-41 deficit with six minutes to go. Four straight baskets by Ross keyed an 8-2 run that put Callaway ahead to stay at 56-51.

Jalisa Wilson had 11 points while Jasmine Curtis chipped in 10 for Callaway.

Kamiko Martin paced Vicksburg with 18 points, with 13 coming in the third quarter as the Missy Gators erased a 24-18 halftime deficit to take a 44-37 lead after three quarters. Alexus Stirgus had 12 points and seven rebounds while Cortni Cooper had 14 points, seven rebounds and six steals. Ebony Martin chipped in eight points and 10 rebounds.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com.