Missy Gators get defensive on Wingfield

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Vicksburg Missy Gators didn’t have a great shooting night on Tuesday. They more than made up for it with a little hustle on the defensive side.

Vicksburg collected 20 steals, held Wingfield to 32 percent shooting, and used a couple of runs in the fourth quarter to win 49-35 in the first round of the Vicksburg-Warren Tournament.

Alexus Stirgus led the Missy Gators (2-0) with 16 points and six steals, while Donyeah Mayfield had 10 points, 13 rebounds and five steals. Eight different players had at least one steal for VHS, which was just 16-for-54 shooting from the field for the game.

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VHS will next play Forest Hill, a 59-55 winner over Canton in the first game of the tournament, on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“It’s not necessarily perfection, it’s a total effort. It’s an honest effort, not the perfect job that counts,” Vicksburg coach Barbara Hartzog said. “You’re only as good as your bench, and some people came off the bench and gave us quality minutes tonight.”

Vicksburg’s shooting woes kept it from taking advantage of Wingfield’s poor game until early in the fourth quarter. That was when Shanequa Hill hit two layups underneath the basket, then added a third off a steal by Stirgus. It was the only six points Hill scored all night, but they gave the Missy Gators a 41-31 lead.

In all, Vicksburg outscored Wingfield 14-4 in the fourth quarter. The defensive pressure kept Wingfield (0-2) from generating any rhythm on offense and created numerous scoring opportunities for VHS. Wingfield’s Anesha Day had 10 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, while Mearna Burns had 10 points and eight rebounds. No other Lady Falcons scored more than five points.

“I think we had 18 (steals) on Saturday. We work too hard every day not to take advantage of every opportunity,” Hartzog said. “They have a lot of confidence in each other, and if they do that, they can only get stronger as a team.”

(B) VHS 71, Natchez 53

Vicksburg shook off a sluggish start, and Natchez, in its home opener.

Mychal Ammons and Kelsey Howard scored 18 points apiece, and the Gators outscored the short-handed Bulldogs 44-31 in the second half to win in the Vicksburg-Warren Tournament.

Vicksburg led by just five points at halftime, 27-22. An alley-oop dunk by Ammons highlighted a quick 5-0 spurt midway through the third quarter that pushed the lead to double digits for the first time, and Natchez never got any closer.

Ammons finished with nine rebounds and four steals for VHS (2-0), while Dominique Brown and Roosevelt Harris scored nine apiece. Vicksburg shot just 26 percent from the field in the first half, a number coach Dellie C. Robinson attributed to overconfidence.

Natchez, which was without several football players, only had nine men in uniform on Tuesday. Brandon Holden led the Bulldogs (0-1) with 25 points and eight rebounds.

“We scored 85 on Saturday and just had our way with Velma Jackson. I thought the kids thought it was going to be the same kind of game. We had far too many turnovers,” Robinson said. “We thought we were just going to walk in and win. Then Kelsey missed his first few shots and everybody went with the flow.”


Contact Ernest Bowker at ebowker@vicksburgpost.com