VHS, WC to meet tonight

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, February 7, 2012

For the third straight year, Vicksburg and Warren Central’s girls meet in an elimination game in the Division 3-6A Tournament.

The two teams play tonight at 7 at Clinton High School. Warren Central has won the last two meetings in the division tournament.

Two years ago in Greenville, WC won 50-46. Last year, the Lady Vikes ended the Missy Gators’ season, 42-34, at VHS.

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Vicksburg (12-12, 3-3) has had more success this season compared to WC (8-16, 2-4), but that means little in this rivalry. The two teams split in the regular season with each winning on the other’s home floor.

A win Tuesday would clinch a spot in next week’s Class 6A playoffs. The North State 6A satellite round games are set for Monday.

Vicksburg coach Barbara Hartzog said her Missy Gators are aware of tonight’s challenge.

“We’re 12-12 and that’s pretty average,” Hartzog said. “We were 3-3 in the division and that’s average, too. Do we want to continue to be just average or do we want to be better than that? Which team shows up?”

A key will be if Warren Central can find a way to put points on the board. The Lady Vikes lost their inside scoring presence when 6-foot-4 senior center Shegredda Shorter was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons.

“If we can shoot halfway decent, we can be in the game,” WC coach Jackie Martin-Brown said. “We just need someone to have a good game. We feel like we can execute our defensive plan.”

The Lady Vikes’ plan plan will be to contain Vicksburg freshman guard Ama Arkoful. She is the leading scorer in Warren County this season at 17.2 points per game.

Vicksburg appeared to have a second option emerging with eighth-grade forward Karry Callahan, but a third quarter knee injury Friday night at home against Brandon has sidelined her for tonight at least.

Hartzog said senior Antoinette Mayfield and sophomore Kailin Young must step up.

“Kailin and Antoinette did a really good job against Brandon,” Hartzog said. “We need that again.”

The Vicksburg boys (9-15) face Greenville-Weston today at 5:30. The Gators have lost six straight.

“Six straight losses is not something you want to go into the division tournament with, that’s the truth,” Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson said. “Our last win was against Greenville (72-65) so maybe that will help us.”