Vikings, Gators get a hoops holiday|Prep basketball
Published 12:00 am Monday, December 28, 2009
The holidays will bring more than fun, food and gifts for local basketball teams. It will also mean games as Vicksburg and Warren Central get back on the court today in different locations.
The Vikings and Lady Vikes are headed to the Mendenhall Invitational today through Wednesday. It’s the first time WC has played in this event.
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“Coach (Jesse) Johnson got us in,” said first-year Lady Vike coach Jackie Martin-Glass. “It’s something new. Normally, we’ve gone to the JPS (Jackson Public Schools Classic).”
Johnson said that with the departure of JPS athletic director Hal Lusk, there was uncertainty with the event.
“They’re were a little unorganized at the JPS and we wanted something definite. Coach Turner from Mendenhall called me so we’ll go there. It’ll be the first time for us in this tournament,” Johnson said.
The Lady Vikes (9-3) open against Lawrence County today at 4. The WC boys (1-12) play the Cougars at 5:30. The Lady Vikes will skip Tuesday while the boys get a rematch with Crystal Springs at 4. On Wednesday, the Lady Vikes take on the Florence girls at 1 p.m. while the boys play Florence at 2:30.
Johnson said his goal for the week is simple.
“Hopefully, we can get a win,” he said. “We look to get better at Mendenhall. We’re moving some ninth graders up and that will give us some more depth.”
Martin-Glass’ biggest concerns are with her roster.
“We’ve got to get our grades, or we may be losing a couple of players. But I’m glad we’re playing. We can work on some new stuff and we get to stay active going into a big game on Jan. 5 with Clinton,” Martin-Glass said.
With Raymond cancelling its Ranger Roundup, the Gators had to search for a new holiday destination. They found the Northwest Rankin Holiday Tournament.
The NWR Tourney features eight teams including ranked teams like the Ridgeland and Brandon boys.
“You never know where you will end up in the JPS, so we’ll go over to Northwest and we’ll get three games,” VHS coach Dellie C. Robinson. “We had to find something because Raymond cancelled its tournament. There are some good teams at Northwest with Ridgeland, New Hope and Brandon.”
The Gators (11-2) get Northwest first in tonight’s late game at 8:30. The Missy Gators (8-4) take on the Lady Cougars at 7. If the VHS teams win, they will be playing again at 7 and 8:30 on Tuesday. If they lose, they’ll be going at 1 and 2:30. The tournament concludes on Wednesday with the seventh-, fifth-, third-place games and the championship game.
First-year coach Richard Hodges pulled both his boys and girls teams out of the Greenville-St. Joseph Tournament after St. Joe could not field a girls team.
Hodges had a simple answer on what his teams will do during the holiday week.
“We’re staying home to practice,” Hodges said.
Specifically, Hodges feels his troops will be much different squads after the multiple sessions.
“We’re looking at 15 whole sessions during that week. We are going to work on offensive fundamentals and learning how to defend all screens. We need a lot of work on defensive technique,” Hodges said.
The Flashes are 3-7 after losing its first division game at West Lincoln on Dec. 18. The Lady Flashes are 2-8.
“I look for the boys to be a whole lot better. We get Sean (Johnson) back and I think we’ll be competitive in the division. As for the girls, we go as Tori (Hines) goes,” Hodges said.
The second half schedule looks to be more favorable. Seven of the eight losses for the girls and five of the boys’ six losses have come against 2A or larger schools (St. Andrew’s, Hillcrest, Madison St. Joe). They have three games with single A, MAIS schools in Tallulah, Tri-County and Porters Chapel in January. They also have two games with archrival Cathedral and home games with the Mississippi School for the Deaf, who they swept in early December.
The Eagles got some good news and bad news at the end of the semester. First the good, five-time district champ Christ Missionary and Industrial School had its basketball program suspended because of use of ineligible players. PCA was to host CM&I on Jan. 5. The Eagles will pick up a pair of forfeits to raise its record to 4-3. The Lady Eagles will go to 2-5.
Now the bad, the boys lost Jay Wiley at the semester break because of his father’s transfer to the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Wiley was the team’s third leading scorer, averaging nine points a game and its second leading rebounder. He had 13 points and seven rebounds in a 65-64 overtime loss at Tallulah Academy on Dec. 17.
Contact Jeff Byrd at email@example.com
10 a.m. – Brandon vs. Morton (G)
11:30 a.m. – Brandon vs. Morton (B)
1 p.m. – Clinton vs. Terry (G)
2:30 p.m. – Clinton vs. Terry (B)
4 p.m. – Ridgeland vs. New Hope (G)
5:30 p.m. – Ridgeland vs. New Hope (B)
7 p.m. – Northwest Rankin vs. Vicksburg (G)
8:30 p.m. – Northwest Rankin vs. Vicksburg (B)
Mendenhall Invitational (Local teams only)
4 p.m. – Lawrence County vs. Warren Central (G)
5:30 p.m. – Lawrence County vs. Warren Central (B)
4 p.m. – Crystal Springs vs. Warren Central (B)
1 p.m. – Florence vs. Warren Central (B)
2:30 p.m. – Florence vs. Warren Central (G)