Lady Vikes fall just short in title game

Published 12:40 am Saturday, February 11, 2012

CLINTON — Warren Cental outhustled and frustrated Greenville-Weston standout Brianna Wright all game, but the South Alabama signee did enough in the last four minutes to lift the Honey Bees to the Division 3-6A Tournament championship Friday night.

Wright’s two free throws with 11.5 seconds left locked up Greenville’s 37-32 win.

The loss sends Warren Central (9-17) to Southaven, the Division 1-6A champ, for a Class 6A North State satellite game. Greenville-Weston (21-7) will host Horn Lake.

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WC coach Jackie Martin-Brown said her team executed its strategy, but simply came out on the wrong end.

“I’m really proud, considering the last time we played them, we were down 30 at the half,” Martin-Brown said. “Overall, we played hard. We got in a situation late where we needed to take smarter shots. But I can’t fault them for trying them.”

Greenville-Weston coach Curtis Stovall said his team took WC lightly. They beat the Lady Vikes 63-38 in Vicksburg in late January.

“We didn’t match their intensity,” Stovall said. “The success we had at their place, was short-lived tonight. We have to handle adversity better than what we did tonight.”

Alexis Daniels converted a steal to give WC a 26-25 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Lady Vikes held Greenville to a single basket, a 3-pointer by Wright.

Takayla Dukes and Shaniqwa Barber scored off putbacks to put the Honey Bees back in front. A basket by freshman Denitra Bracey kept WC within two, at 32-30 with 3:49 left.

Neither team scored for the next two minutes until Wright, who had 18 points, scored off a drive with 1:35 to go. Rolanda Lovette answered for Warren Central to make it 34-32 at the 1:17 mark.

A steal by Jasmine Walker gave the Lady Vikes a chance at a tie, but Lovette’s 12-footer went in and out. Wright grabbed the rebound, was fouled, and made one of two shots for a 35-32 lead.

WC’s last chance at a tie went for naught when Symone Stamps’ 3-pointer never got to the rim. Wright sank her final two free throws with 11.5 seconds left to seal it.

Wright finished with 17 rebounds and three blocks. Lauren Page had nine points.

Lovette led WC with 10 points and five steals. Bracey finished with seven points and 10 rebounds, while Walker had six rebounds and four assists.