Lady Vikes, Gators prepare for the next step

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 15, 2010

The Vicksburg Gators and Warren Central Lady Vikes face a tough road to get to the Class 6A State Tournament next week.

Losses in last week’s Division 4-6A finals to Greenville-Weston will put both clubs on the road for the North State 6A satellite games. Then there is a change in format. Only the top two teams from the North State tournament, not three like in years past, will advance to the Mississippi Coliseum since the Mississippi High School Activities Association added a sixth class and will go to a Final Four format for the first time.

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7 p.m. – (G) Warren Central

at Horn Lake


7 p.m. – (B) Vicksburg

at Olive Branch

Warren Central (17-9) heads to Horn Lake (24-2) tonight in a first round game. The Lady Vikes lost to Greenville-Weston 48-37 Thursday afternoon in the Division 4-6A finals.

Warren Central faces a hard test with the Lady Eagles, a team favored to contend for the 6A title. Horn Lake is led by talented senior forward Jasbriel Swain, who averages 18.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 steals per game.

The Lady Vikes must also deal with the loss of starting guard Michelle Jones to a strained miniscus. Jones was hurt in a win over Vicksburg in the first round of the division tournament last Tuesday.

“Not having Michelle play against Greenville hurt because it would have allowed us to do some different things on defense. She is one of our best defenders,” WC coach Jackie Martin-Glass said.

Vicksburg (24-3), which entered last week ranked second in the state, lost 61-56 to Greenville-Weston and must now head to Olive Branch for a Tuesday night tip at 7.

The upset loss to the Hornets not only cost the Gators a chance to play at home Tuesday against Horn Lake (24-2) but also put them into a tougher bracket. If Vicksburg beats Olive Branch it will likely have to win at Starkville in another elimination game on Friday.

The Gators did catch a break when Horn Lake was upset by Olive Branch 61-47 in the Division 1-6A finals.

“I know Horn Lake is tough,” VHS coach Dellie C. Robinson said after the loss to Greenville-Weston. “No question about it, though, whoever we get — we’re on the road.”

Olive Branch lost to Horn Lake in two regular-season meetings but used a 22-8 second quarter to turn back the Eagles in the division title game. D.J. Biggs had 14 points to lead the Conquistadors.

Olive Branch (21-7) has played a challenging schedule with three losses coming to out of state teams in a holiday tournament in Memphis.

Vicksburg will counter with the 1-2 scoring punch of senior forward Kelsey Howard (19.7 points per game) and Mychal Ammons (19.6 ppg, 9.6 rebounds).

Contact Jeff Byrd at