Rebounding woes sink Vicksburg|Prep basketball

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vicksburg pushed defending Class 4A champion Yazoo City to the limit on Tuesday.

But down the stretch, the Missy Gators couldn’t cash in and fell short in a 44-40 decision.

The key for Yazoo City was its mastery on the boards. On the Lady Indians’ first possession, they grabbed seven offensive boards, setting a tone for the rest of the contest.

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Also they were able to take away Donyeah Mayfield down low (only four points) and put the clamps on the Missy Gators’ drives to the bucket.

“We had our opportunities,” Vicksburg coach Barbara Hartzog said. “But we didn’t rebound like we’ve been rebounding. We just didn’t crash the boards. We didn’t attack, particularly when your opponent shoots 25 free throws and your team shoots seven.”

The biggest blow to Vicksburg’s hopes was with just under 5 minutes left. A 3-pointer by Alexus Strigus and a jumper by Alexis Hall pulled the Missy Gators in front 40-39.

Yazoo wrested the lead back after a putback by Shanarika McCullum. After a missed shot by the Missy Gators, Donyeah Mayfield tipped and controlled a steal for what appeared to be an easy transition opportunity. But the Missy Gators were unable to cash in, turned over the ball and allowed Zahara Williams to streak in for layup to put the Lady Indians in command at 43-40. The Missy Gators had two more cracks at a game-tying shot, but Yazoo City kept Stirgus from getting a good look and Williams drained one of two free throws on a late intentional foul to seal the victory.

Shanequa Hill scored 14 points to pace Vicksburg (15-8, 4-2 division play).

For Yazoo City (19-4), Williams scored 15 points, Dominque Walker added 12.

(B) Vicksburg 63, Yazoo City 38

Kelsey Howard rolled off a pick as the third quarter expired with defenders in his face. He had no doubt that it was going in, especially with several college scouts in attendance.

“I knew it was good,” Howard said.

It was just that kind of night on Senior Night. Howard swished the shot to cap off a 23-point outburst as Vicksburg throttled visiting Yazoo City (11-13, 5-1).

Mychal Ammons added 15 points as the Gators continued their recent run of blowout wins.

Despite giving up 20 points to 285-pound pivot man DeMarco Cox, none of his teammates scored more than six points. The Gators’ high-tempo gameplan also contributed to taking him out of the game.

“I thought we did a good job on the Cox kid,” Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson said. “We knew we had to keep a man in front of him and behind him at all times. Every time we started trapping, it really worked for us. We knew we were going to have to play our game.”

Contact Steve Wilson at