St. Al girls find way to triumph against Cathedral

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The St. Aloysius Lady Flashes are winning ugly these days.

But they are winning.

Freshman Allie Willis hit a go-ahead jumper with 1:35 to go, and Ellie Welp hit three free throws in the final minute to seal it as St. Al beat Cathedral 51-47 Tuesday night for its third consecutive victory.

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

The Lady Flashes (8-8, 4-4 Division 7-1A) won despite shooting 27.9 percent from the field (19-for-68) and 11-for-23 from the foul line.

“A win is a win,” St. Al coach Cookie Johnson said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we pulled it out.”

That they did, with one last surge that made the poor shooting night nothing more than a mild concern.

Neither team led by more than a few points at any time in the game. St. Al’s biggest lead was six, early in the fourth quarter, but it was quickly erased as Ginny Daggett scored on two driving layups to give Cathedral a 40-38 lead with 5:43 to go.

The Lady Flashes and Green Wave traded baskets after that, until Willis’ go-ahead shot put St. Al ahead for good. Cathedral only scored once more, on a free throw by Wesley Callaway with just over a minute left. Welp went 3-for-4 at the line down the stretch and St. Al was able to hang on.

Willis finished with 17 points and five steals, and Welp had nine points and 15 rebounds. Ann Garrison Thomas added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Daggett had a game-high 24 points and five steals for Cathedral (2-18, 0-7), and Callaway had 11 points and 16 rebounds.

“I told them it boils down to who has heart. If you play hard and execute, good things happen,” Johnson said. “I think we’re getting some confidence. We’re getting better every day and practicing like we’re playing in the games.”

(B) Cathedral 61, St. Aloysius 48

One great quarter and three so-so ones averaged out to a victory for Cathedral.

D.J. Perry scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the first quarter, and also grabbed 10 rebounds as the Green Wave beat archrival St. Al.

“He’s our inside post player and our rock inside every night,” Cathedral coach Peter Arnold said of Perry. “We just couldn’t make shots. Thankfully, his were all right at the rim.”

Carl Hammitte added 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists and six steals for Cathedral (13-10, 3-4 Division 7-1A), and Daniel Huffines scored eight points. Matthew Foley led St. Al (1-15, 0-8) with 11 points, and Kameron Reed finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.

Perry went 6-for-8 from the floor in the first quarter, and scored 11 of his team’s first 13 points. He split a pair of free throws at the end of the first quarter to give Cathedral an 18-5 lead.

The Green Wave never relinquished that double-digit lead, but it also never expanded it by much. The margin waivered between 13 and 20 points the rest of the game.

Both teams scored 43 points over the final three quarters, and St. Al’s shooting percentage was slightly better over that span. If not for the Flashes’ struggles at the foul line — they hit only 17 of 29 free throws — the game might have been a lot closer.

Even so, it was a vast improvement for the Flashes over their recent efforts.

In their last five losses, they were outscored by an average of 45 points.

“We came out flat, with no energy. Then we started executing toward the end,” St. Al coach Delvin Thompson said. “We finally got a half. At least we’re making some kind of progression.”

(B) Natchez 68, Vicksburg 61

Natchez nearly saw a 17-point halftime lead slip away, but was able to hold against Vicksburg.

Thanks to some solid defense, Natchez outscored the Gators 21-10 in the second quarter for a 36-19 lead at the half.

Vicksburg (9-12) turned up the defense in the third quarter and cut the deficit to eight points, 45-37, going to the fourth. The final period turned into a shootout, with the Gators putting up 24 points and Bulldogs scoring 23, keeping Vicksburg’s comeback bid at bay.

Vicksburg was led by Romeo Carter with 19 points, while De’Angelo Richardson had 12 and Edward Davis added 11.

Natchez (9-13) was led by Derrian Johnson with 18 points, Dearius Griffin with 12 and Quincy Washington with 11.

(G) Vicksburg 62, Natchez 57

Natchez had three players score in double figures, but a bad second quarter on the offensive end and some defensive lapses in the fourth quarter were the difference in Vicksburg’s comeback win.

Natchez erased a five-point halftime deficit to take a 43-39 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Missy Gators (10-11) rallied late, however, outscoring Natchez 23-14 in the final period to secure the victory.

Ama Arkoful led Vicksburg with a game-high 24 points and Aleeshah Smith scored 11.

Natchez (17-7) was led by Kiara Johnson with 19 points, Keyana Miller with 13 and Kiana Jones with 11.