Vikings survive Hornets’ late rally
Published 11:51 pm Friday, February 7, 2014
For the second straight game, Warren Central almost blew a double-digit lead in the second half.
The emphasis, of course, is on almost.
The Vikings let most of a 20-point advantage slip away Friday night before hanging on to beat Greenville-Weston 67-64. Greenville’s LaMichael Knighten, who finished with 17 points and hit four of his five 3-pointers in the second half, missed another trey in the waning seconds that could have tied the game.
Greenville hit nine 3-pointers in the second half, including seven in the fourth quarter to have a chance at the tie despite trailing 53-39 entering the final period.
“We didn’t guard very well,” WC coach Bruce Robinson said. “I think it’s a matter of can you stand success? We continue to play hard for a while, and then we’re not doing the things we’re going to need to do to be successful in the playoffs.”
Mario Doyle led WC with 23 points. Mike Williams scored 13 and David Robinson had 12. Knighton was Greenville’s leading scorer, followed by Cameron Marshall and Eric Brown with 11 apiece.
With the win, Warren Central (14-10, 3-1 Division 4-6A) moved into a tie for first place with Murrah (12-11, 3-1) heading into the last week of the regular season. The teams play Tuesday night in Jackson, then Thursday in a game at WC that was rescheduled because of last week’s winter storm.
Either one will earn the No. 1 seed in the division tournament by winning both games. If they split, the tiebreaker is point differential in their two-game season series.
Greenville-Weston (11-13, 1-5) is locked into the No. 4 seed after Friday’s loss. Clinton (12-11, 3-3) beat Murrah 69-66 on Friday night, but cannot do better than the No. 2 seed.
All of the games within the division so far have been decided by 10 points or less. WC’s four division games have been decided by a total of 11 points.
“It’s just a whole lot of parity,” Robinson said.
(G) Greenville-Weston 75,
Warren Central 37
Tanesha Miller scored a game-high 17 points, Ranesha Cook had 16, and Greenville-Weston (17-5, 4-2 Division 4-6A) locked up the No. 2 seed in the division tournament by routing Warren Central (7-16, 0-4).
The Lady Vikes have lost all four of their division games by 16 points or more. The last three have been by 38 or more. WC can still earn the No. 3 seed by beating Murrah twice next week, but has lost seven of nine games since the Christmas break.
Injuries, including a season-ending knee injury for leading rebounder Denitra Bracey, have been the biggest factor. Two key starters, Tiana Roby and Ama Arkoful, did not play Friday. Backup point guard Deja Ivory, pressed into a starting role, left the game early with an ankle injury.
WC had more than 30 turnovers and was just 4-for-19 from the free throw line. Decada Taylor led WC with 10 points.
“I’m trying to play some freshmen, and maybe somewhere down the road we’ll have some good fortune,” WC coach Jackie Glass said. “I’m hopeful that somebody will underestimate us and we can be a sleeper and wake up.”