Vikings gut out win over Rangers

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RICHLAND — Happy as he was with the outcome Tuesday, it was hard for Warren Central coach Jessie Johnson not to be concerned with style points.

The Vikings played OK, but not great against a mediocre opponent. They led the whole game but never pulled away. They got back to .500 with their victory over Richland, but hardly inspired confidence that they could seriously compete in the rough and tumble world of Division 4-6A.

Gerald Glass and Kourey Davis scored 14 points apiece for Warren Central (9-9), which bounced back from a division loss to archrival Vicksburg by beating Richland 48-42.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“Any win is a good win, and we tried to use that as a learning experience and preparation for the district,” Johnson said. “We’re happy with the win, but not that pace. Nobody in our district is going to play at that pace.”

Terry Jones led Richland (5-11) with 10 points and 16 rebounds, while Austin Buckley scored 12 points.

Warren Central shot 43 percent from the field and maintained a five to 10 point lead for most of the game. The Vikings couldn’t pull away from the Rangers (5-11) until the final minutes, however. They hit 5 of 6 free throws in the final 90 seconds to put a lid on the victory.

The late surge pushed WC’s lead to as many as seven before Josh Brunson hit a 3-pointer to cut it to 46-42 with about 45 seconds left. Point guard Eric Howard then dribbled about 25 seconds off the clock before he was fouled and hit two free throws to finish it.

“That was one thing on my mind, was if we can make free throws they couldn’t catch us,” Johnson said.

(G) Richland 52, WC 33

For the second game in a row, an abysmal first quarter came back to haunt Warren Central.

The Lady Vikes scored only three points in the first period and didn’t hit a field goal until the final seconds. The swoon led to a double-digit deficit they struggled to close, and a loss to Richland (15-1). In a loss to archrival Vicksburg on Saturday, WC (5-13) only scored one point in the first quarter and didn’t hit a shot from the field until late in the first half.

“That’s been our downfall all year. From the first game until now, we’ve gotten ourselves in a hole and can’t dig out,” WC coach Jackie Glass said.

Poor shooting was just one of WC’s problems on Tuesday. They also committed 33 turnovers and struggled to finish scoring opportunities after breaking Richland’s press.

After falling behind 15-1 late in the first quarter, the Lady Vikes got as close as eight points just before halftime and 12 midway through the third. The mistakes caught up to them each time, however, allowing Richland to stay at arm’s length all night.

Kendra Grant led Richland with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Michelle Jones led WC with nine points.

“We had almost 40 turnovers, and if you can’t protect the ball, you’re not going to win,” Glass said.

(G) Vicksburg 58,

Greenville-Weston 34

Shaniqua Butler scored 16 points, Donyeah Mayfield added 15 and Shanequa Hill contributed 12 to a balanced scoring effort as Vicksburg (9-6, 4-0) dominated Greenville-Weston to stay perfect in Region 4-6A play.

(B) Vicksburg 57,

Greenville-Weston 53

The Gators (14-3, 4-0) stayed perfect in Region 4-6A play with a win at Greenville-Weston.