No place like home for Warren Central|Prep basketball playoffs

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 16, 2009

For most  basketball teams, going home is the last thing they want once the tournament season begins. For Warren Central, it’s been the goal all along.

The Lady Vikes host Tupelo tonight at 6:30 in a Class 5A North State satellite game, the first of what they hope will be several home games this week. If WC wins tonight, it’ll host the rest of the North State tournament beginning Friday, and won’t have to leave Vicksburg until the Class 5A Tournament starts next week in Jackson.

It’s a huge advantage for Warren Central, which will not only have a partisan crowd on its side but will also avoid several lengthy bus trips to North Mississippi — and the fatigue they bring.

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“It’s good to be at home the rest of the way. We’ve been lucky enough to play well at home. We want a big crowd out there (tonight) to cheer us on,” WC coach Donny Fuller said. “It’s a big deal. It’s a long bus ride to Tupelo or Starkville. You get in late and have to leave early. This is good for us.”

Warren Central earned the right to host the North State tournament through a bidding process with other Mississippi High School Activities Association members, but earned its spot in the satellite game with a grueling run through the Division 4-5A Tournament.

WC (24-4) beat tournament host Provine in overtime last Tuesday, then squandered most of a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter before holding off Greenville-Weston 62-57 for the title on Friday.

The Lady Vikes’ reward is a date with a strong Tupelo squad that was upset by Starkville in the Division 2-5A championship game. Tupelo (24-5) won that divison’s regular-season title.

WC’s Karnina Bunch said not having a lot of time to prepare wasn’t a big deal for a veteran team like the Lady Vikes. She noted the typically short turnaround time between games during the tournament season was normal.

“It’s not tough,” Bunch said. “You just have to take care of business on and off the court.”


Contact Ernest Bowker at