Gators coast to win over Clinton, Missy Gators fall

Published 12:15 am Saturday, January 15, 2011

The fifth-ranked Vicksburg boys will get another shot at beating an elite team when they face defending Class 6A state champion Starkville Monday afternoon in the Martin Luther King Classic at Jackson Lanier.

As a tuneup, the Gators wrapped up the Division 4-6A regular-season title Friday night by beating Clinton 71-59 at VHS. Vicksburg improved to 5-0 in the division and will take a 15-3 record into the clash with Starkville.

Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson felt his team had another fourth quarter lapse, which is something that cost his team in losses to top-ranked Meridian and Jackson city powers Callaway and Provine.

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“I was disappointed with how we finished the game,” Robinson said. “When Mike (Ammons) made that dunk, we kind of went to sleep. We made some unforced turnovers. We’ve got to be better than that. Until then, I thought we played a pretty good ball game.”

Ammons, a South Alabama signee, had one of his best dunks of the season. He took a feed near the key and registered a massive, one-handed slam that put the Gators up 71-50 and sent most of the home crowd to the exits.

Clinton (15-6, 2-1) kept playing and managed to do a cosmetic job on the scoreboard with nine straight points in the final two minutes. Kavonte Younger scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to pace the Arrows.

Like his coach, Ammons said the Gators must be sharper against Starkville.

“We have to play better,” Ammons said. “We just went lax there at the end. We need to break that habit.”

The Gators did get a lift off the bench from backup guard Rashad Gaines, who dished six assists, four coming in the second quarter as Vicksburg went on a decisive 20-3 run to turn a 15-13 game into a 41-21 lead.

“Rashad did a real good job of distributing the ball,” said Ammons, who finished with 28 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Two of Gaines’ assists went to Willie Gibbs, who drained a pair of 3-pointers in the run. He had two more in the second half and finished with 14 points. Josh Gaskin had 13 points.

(G) Clinton 33, Vicksburg 27

Vicksburg coach Barbara Hartzog was completely befuddled by her team’s effort Friday against Clinton.

“We went from sugar to mess in less than 72 hours,” Hartzog said. On Tuesday, the Missy Gators (9-7, 4-1 4-6A) blew out Greenville-Weston on its own floor. “It doesn’t make any sense. We’re at home with a chance to wrap up district and it’s like we’re scared to be good. We didn’t attack their zone and just didn’t show up.”

Vicksburg committed 23 turnovers as Clinton used a variety of zone defenses. After Donyeah Mayfield put up 14 points and 11 rebounds in the first half, the Lady Arrows went to a box-and-one. Mayfield scored just one point in the second half and finished with 15.

VHS hit just four of 22 shots in the second half as an 18-15 lead vanished. Brianna Price had 12 points to lead Clinton. Cortni Cooper had 10.