Showtime for Lady Vikes|Warren Central dominates archrival Vicksburg
Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 13, 2009
When Jackie Martin-Glass took over the reins of the Warren Central girls basketball program late this summer, it came with very little fanfare. Many wondered if the 10-year former assistant was up to it.
On Saturday, Martin-Glass had her troops ready for her first game against the archrival Vicksburg Missy Gators. It proved to be an impressive start.
The Lady Vikes dismantled the Missy Gators 52-37 inside Vicksburg’s tightly-packed gym. Not only does Martin-Glass go one-up on the Missy Gators, her team also picked up a key Division 4-6A road win.
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“It’s very special. It’s an inter-city rivalry and it gives kids some bragging rights. But even more than that, it was a district game,” Martin-Glass said. “Today, we tried to stick with our game plan, but I thought we took too many outside shots. Then at the half, we changed up our defense when we went zone, because we had some foul trouble. It worked out well.”
It helped that Vicksburg (7-4, 0-1) could not make a shot. The Missy Gators made just 5-of-24 shots in the first half and two of those buckets came off one-on-one lobs from point guard Alexus Stirgus to Antoinette Mayfield. Vicksburg also had problems getting to rebounds and other loose balls. WC (8-3, 1-0) enjoyed a stout 38-24 rebounding advantage in the game. Vicksburg’s shooting never improved in the second half and the Gators soon fell behind 20 points at 45-25 with 5:31 to play.
“We just played hard defense,” WC guard DeDe Eatmon said. “They got in some lobs in the first half, but the zone stopped that. Our defense has really improved since the start of the year.”
The defensive effort was not lost on Martin-Glass.
“We kept hustling and I was really proud of that,” Martin-Glass said. “Even the girls at the end of our bench came in and played hard those last 26 seconds.”
Stirgus said the Missy Gators couldn’t get much going.
“It was an off night. I can’t explain why we’re not as good here as we are on the road,” Stirgus said. All four of the Missy Gator losses have been at home.
Shooting played a big part. The Missy Gators ended up 13-of-53 from the field. Stirgus did not record a field goal until the six-minute mark in the third quarter. She didn’t make a 3-pointer until the final two minutes.
WC, meanwhile, got two coast-to-coast baskets by Ricille Davis to turn a six-point game into a 31-21 lead following Stirgus’ first basket. She then added an open 16-foot shot and Eatmon’s 10-footer at the quarter horn made it 39-23.
Davis finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Eatmon had 12 points with seven rebounds and four assists. Sh’qulla Neal had 11 points. Mayfield led Vicksburg with 12 points and 12 boards.
(B) Vicksburg 89, WC 52
The Gators’ supporting cast helped make things easy for the Kelsey Howard and Mychal Ammons Show.
The two Vicksburg standouts combined for 45 points, but everyone else got their licks in as well on the struggling Vikings (1-10).
Vicksburg (10-1) made 11 3-pointers in the game, including five from guys besides Howard and Ammons.
“We showed we got a lot on our bench,” Gators coach Dellie C. Robinson said. His team blew out a third straight opponent to close out a three-game homestand and open its Division 4-6A account with a win. Vicksburg heads to Greenville-Weston for a key division game on Dec. 18 and then will be off until the Northwest Rankin Tournament on Dec. 28-30.
“Today, I went with my two second-string guards (Rashad Gaines and Roosevelt Harris) and they played well. Kiente Ross was excellent. He may be our best player off the bench. He knows to get out of the way when Mike and Kelsey come through and then go to the backside to get the rebound.”
Ross said the first meeting this season between the crosstown rivals proved to be a big motivator.
“It’s the biggest rivalry we have and plus, it was a district game,” said Ross, who finished with six points, nine rebounds and four steals. While most of his boards came on the offensive end, he got little work during the game’s key stretch in the first quarter.
Vicksburg made nine straight shots to turn a brief Viking lead of 5-4 into a 29-9 advantage. Ammons had 10 of his 22 points during the stretch and Howard, who knocked down all five of his shots in the quarter, had 11.
“Once Kelsey gets rolling, you just keep feeding him,” Ross said.
The Vikings got a bit of a lift from sophomore Louis Carson with three long-range 3-pointers. He finished with 18 points.
Howard capped his day with 12 points in the third quarter, including a 4-point play off a 3-pointer and free throw. The sequence handed Vicksburg a 71-35 lead.
In the final eight minutes, Gators got four more treys from junior varsity guys Cam Cooksey, Willie Gibbs and Avery Grays.
Contact Jeff Byrd at firstname.lastname@example.org