Clinton sweeps WC on the court

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Warren Central's Jessie Wilson (2) gets ready to drive against Clinton’s Malik Wilson during Tuesday’s game. Clinton won, 55-32. (Ernest Bowker/The Vicksburg Post)

Warren Central’s Jessie Wilson (2) gets ready to drive against Clinton’s Malik Wilson during Tuesday’s game. Clinton won, 55-32. (Ernest Bowker/The Vicksburg Post)

Warren Central has played in a lot of close games this season.

This wasn’t one of them.

Dante Thornton scored a game-high 15 points, Galin Smith and Isaiah Austin had nine apiece, and Clinton held Warren Central to 12 points in the second half to win 55-32 on Tuesday night.

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

It was only the second time in seven games that Warren Central (9-11, 0-2 Division 4-6A) has played a game decided by more than 10 points.

“We hadn’t been burning the world up, but we’d been playing well enough to win ballgames at the end,” WC coach Bruce Robinson said. “It’s just a matter of when you’re going to get one of those games where nothing’s going to go your way. That’s virtually what happened in the second half.”

Mario Doyle scored 11 points and Jessie Wilson finished with eight for the Vikings, who trailed 23-20 at halftime but went cold in the third quarter and watched Clinton (10-8, 2-0) pull away.

The Arrows started the second half with a 7-0 run to go up by 10 points, the biggest lead by either team to that point.

Warren Central cut it to seven late in the third quarter, only to see Clinton finish with a 6-0 spurt. Austin blocked a shot with 45 seconds left that led to a fast-break layup by Renaldo Ellis that put Clinton ahead 39-26.

The fourth quarter was more of the same, as the Arrows outscored WC 16-6 to ice it. Warren Central never got its deficit back to single digits.

“We just tried to take (Doyle) out of the ballgame with a modified box-and-one,” Clinton coach Clay Norton said of his team’s defense in the second half. “That makes somebody else have to create and beat you, and then we played good help defense. Those guys deserve the credit because they bought into the game plan tonight.”

Although it was a tough loss to swallow, Robinson kept an eye on the bigger picture.

Three teams will make it out of the division tournament this season instead of the usual two, so even falling to 0-2 in the division wasn’t a deathblow to his team’s playoff hopes.

The Vikings still have about a month to find their stride in time to put together a couple of good nights in February.

“It’s just a ballgame. It’s a district game, but truth be told you’ll have to win against whoever they put in front of you when we get to the district tournament,” Robinson said. “We’re going to bounce back. That’s what we do, is we bounce back.”

(G) Clinton 53, Warren Central 35

Destiny Cyprian scored 27 points and hit five of Clinton’s eight 3-pointers as the Lady Arrows (14-4, 2-0 Division 4-6A) trounced Warren Central (9-10, 1-1).

Shae Bracey scored 12 points, while T.T. Sims and Amber Gaston had eight apiece for Warren Central, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Warren Central only trailed by five points at halftime, but Cyprian scored 13 of Clinton’s 17 points in the third quarter to help the Lady Arrows get a little breathing room.

Warren Central’s last flurry came midway through the fourth quarter, when it scored two quick baskets to make it 42-27. Terri Shumpert answered with a long jumper to make it 44-27, and Clinton was never seriously threatened again.

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.

email author More by Ernest