Ammons ignites Gators|Sophomore pours in 26 points to pace Vicksburg past Provine

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 20, 2009

JACKSON — A big crowd at Lanier brings the best out of Vicksburg sophomore Mychal Ammons.

With Mississippi State basketball coach Rick Stansberry watching from the endline, Ammons led the Gators to an impressive 64-51 win over two-time defending Class 5A and overall state champion Provine Monday at the Martin Luther King Day Hoopfest at a packed Smith Gym at Lanier.

Ammons, playing his third game since returning from ligament damage to his ankle, showed off against the Rams with a game-best 26 points and nine rebounds. The 6-foot-5 forward displayed his range, hitting four 3-pointers. The last, a key bucket in the game, wasa shot from the key that gave Vicksburg (14-4) its largest lead at 56-39 with 4:56 seconds left.

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“I just seem to put it on when the crowd gets in here,” Ammons said.

“Mychal was the difference in the game,” Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson said. “This was just his third game back, but he’s back. He showed why all these college coaches were in here today.

“This was a big win for us, because of who we were playing. Provine’s been the best the last two years. But we came out and played well for all four quarters,” Robinson said.

Provine (14-4) had two big men inside against the Gators’ one in Denzell Erves, but Vicksburg still got the better of the Rams when it counted.

“We just went to war with them. We got them blocked out,” Ammons said.

“We kept them out of the lane and we did it for all four quarters,” Vicksburg senior Maurice Williams said.

“Maurice did a super job and he is now our point guard full-time,” said Robinson, who has juggled four different players in the lead guard spot. “When he needs a break, we’ll bring in Darius (Williams) in.”

Provine made a push when Ammons took a break after hitting his last trey. The Rams went on an 8-0 run to cut it to 56-47 after a 3-point play by Marcus Hooten with four minutes left.

Ammons came back and hit two free throws at the 3:01 mark to put the lead back to 11. With under two minutes to go, Williams made a key steal which led to a free throw by Denzell Erves to make it 59-49. Ammons then iced the game when he hit a runner from eight feet for a 61-49 lead with 1:31 left.

A 22-point second quarter allowed Vicksburg to take command of the game after a slow first quarter. The Gators went to the break up 32-20 after Kelsey Howard scored 10 of his 14 points in the second quarter.

Maurice Williams finished with 11 points and Erves had nine.

Provine was led by sophomore Jalen Courtney with 13 points and 17 rebounds. Emery Kelly and Hooten each had 11 points.

Vicksburg returns home to tonight to face division rival Callaway. The Chargers knocked off Starkville in the game following the Gators-Rams contest.


Contact Jeff Byrd at