Vikings hang on to beat Jim Hill

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Warren Central’s Tristan Lowry (32) fights through a swarm of Jim Hill defenders to put up a shot during Tuesday’s game. Lowry finished with four points to help the Vikings to a 46-42 win. (Ernest Bowker/The Vicksburg Post)

Warren Central’s Tristan Lowry (32) fights through a swarm of Jim Hill defenders to put up a shot during Tuesday’s game. Lowry finished with four points to help the Vikings to a 46-42 win. (Ernest Bowker/The Vicksburg Post)

While several returning football players work their way back into the lineup and some younger ones round into form, the Warren Central Vikings have taken to saying, “We celebrate all wins.”

That includes the ugly ones like Tuesday’s.

The Vikings went 7-for-21 from the foul line and missed five in a row in the final minute that could have iced it, but still managed to hang on for a 46-42 victory over Jim Hill.

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WC squandered most of a 10-point fourth quarter lead before Travonta Miller split a pair of free throws for the final four-point margin with 2 seconds left.

“We’re going to celebrate all our wins, because near this time last year we were 0-5 and I think we lost to (Jim Hill) on a buzzer beater,” WC coach Bruce Robinson said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game because they’re well-coached, they’re 6A and JPS competition. We’re going to enjoy that.”

Mario Doyle led Warren Central (3-2) with 24 points and Miller finished with nine.

Doyle provided the Vikings with a spark at several crucial junctures that allowed them to maintain a lead they took in the early going and never relinquished.

Late in the first half, after Jim Hill (0-3) had gotten within a point, Doyle keyed a 6-2 spurt with a breakaway dunk to put WC ahead 23-18 at halftime.

Then, in the fourth quarter, he drilled a 3-pointer and a layup after Jim Hill had made a pair of 3-pointers to pull within five.

“I just wanted to keep us building the momentum up,” Doyle said.

Jim Hill went on a 7-0 run to get it back to 45-42 with less than a minute left, but a crucial mistake proved to be its undoing.

Warren Central ran about 20 seconds off the clock before Jim Hill’s Eric Vaughn got a steal with 22 seconds left. Vaughn traveled as he fell to the court, however, and slammed the ball in frustration when he got up. He received a technical foul that turned out to be the break WC needed to escape with the win.

Doyle missed both free throws, but the Vikings got the ball back and were able to dribble the clock down to 2 seconds before Miller was fouled. Miller missed the first free throw, then hit the second to clinch it.

“We generally shoot free throws well, but once you start missing it’s like a snowball effect. We couldn’t buy a free throw,” Robinson said. “We were just fortunate that that kid got that technical. If he doesn’t get that technical, we’re in trouble. That gave us some breathing room.”

(B) Vicksburg 67, Yazoo City 41

Kirk Parker scored 16 points, and Vicksburg High shot 50.7 percent from the field (32-for-63) to beat Yazoo City (1-3).

Kenneth Murphy added 12 points and Tyler Smith had 10 for the Gators, who had 12 players score at least two points apiece.

Vicksburg opened up an 11-point lead at halftime, then outscored Yazoo City 14-0 in the third quarter to blow the game open.

(B) Greenville Christian 69, Porters Chapel 28

Devontae Rhodes scored a game-high 15 points, and Greenville Christian used a huge second-quarter surge to blow out Porters Chapel Academy (1-4).

Greenville Christian (5-0) led by nine points at the end of the first quarter, then outscored PCA 26-3 in the second to take a 45-13 lead into halftime.

Javontae Frye and Josh Daffron led PCA with six points apiece. Frye also had three steals.

(G) Warren Central 58, Jim Hill 53

Ama Arkoful scored 13 points, freshman Amber Gaston had 12, and Warren Central (3-2) gutted out a tough win over Jim Hill (1-2).

Warren Central led most of the way, but never by more than five points. It also rallied in the fourth quarter after Jim Hill made a run to briefly take the lead.

“It was a pretty good win. We made a lot of mistakes, gave a lot of offensive rebounds to them,” Warren Central coach Jackie Glass said. “Those are things we have to live with until they mature and get the feel for how this league is going to be.”

T’onna Sims added 10 points for Warren Central, and Derada Taylor scored nine.

Ieisha Lacey led Jim Hill with a game-high 18 points, and Debraia Bell scored 16.

(G) Vicksburg 69, Yazoo City 45

Karry Callahan posted her second triple-double of the season, finishing with 18 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists, and Vicksburg High (4-0) used a big first quarter to cruise past Yazoo City (0-4).

The Missy Gators outscored Yazoo City 22-6 in the opening period, and led by 21 points at halftime. They were never threatened in the second half.

Callahan had four steals and two blocks to go along with her triple-double. Ruddie Shears had 14 points and seven rebounds, Keiyana Gaskin finished with nine points and five steals, and Elishia Howard scored nine points.

As a team, Vicksburg had 13 seals and four blocked shots.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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