Ridgeland wears out Warren Central

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 20, 2009

For the better part of two quarters, Warren Central hung tough with ninth-ranked Ridgeland.

But late in the second quarter, when WC coach Jesse Johnson was forced to go to his bench, the contest got away from the Vikings.

Ridgeland blew open a three-point game with a 19-5 surge in the second quarter to earn a 71-51 win over the Vikings on Thursday.

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LeAntwan Luckett scored a game-high 22 points, while Calvin Johnson added 18 for the Titans.

Eric Hall and Jeremy Harper lifted a heavy burden again, as the duo combined for 35 of the Vikings’ 50 points. Harper finished with 19, while Hall added 16.

In the last two games, Harper and Hall have scored 79 of the Vikings’ 118 points.

Johnson doesn’t feel the pair are carrying too much of the load, but believes that once he gets some of his football players in the rotation and in basketball shape, his two stellar guards will be more effective down the stretch.

“We really need a nine-man rotation,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to be able to substitute some people. We’re playing with a minimum amount of people, they get tired, and I think they would score better and finish at the end if they had a breather.”

The game was tight as the Vikings (1-5) used the long-range shooting of Hall and Harper and some easy opportunities in transition to keep pace with the bigger Titans.

But the Titans poured it on in the closing minutes of the second quarter. The signature moment was when Harper drilled a 3-pointer off the dribble with the clock ticking down to less than a minute in the half. But on the ensuing possession, Luckett drained a triple to put the Titans up 35-19 at the break.

In the third, the Vikings climbed back into the contest, drawing to within nine at 43-34 after Hall and Harper converted a pair of one-and-one opportunities at the free throw line.

But the Titans salted away the contest in the fourth thanks to the shooting of Luckett and some strong work on the boards, and the Vikings (1-5) never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

(G) WC 58, Ridgeland 21

Ricille Davis scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds to pace the Lady Vikes to a rout of visiting Ridgeland. DeDe Eatmon added 10 points for Warren Central (4-2), which never trailed.

WC coach Jackie Martin-Glass was happy with the intensity level she saw defensively and said her team did a good job of turning it into easy buckets in transition.

“We just had to turn the heat up,” Martin-Glass said. “I thought in our last game we were sluggish and just jogging to our spots. Our key tonight was to pick up the intensity and put some pressure on the ball. I think we responded well in our press and our 1-2-2 (zone).”

Contact Steve Wilson at swilson@vicksburgpost.com