Defense carries Lady Vikes to victory over Raymond

Published 2:57 am Friday, November 13, 2015

Warren Central girls’ basketball coach Jackie Martin-Glass told her players they had to go into Thursday’s game and take care of business. She was very pleased with their performance and the 69-45 win they earned against Raymond.

Cocoa Fultz led the team in scoring with 22 points and made her presence felt in the paint by grabbing three offensive rebounds.

The Lady Vikes shared the ball well, played as a team and got a lot of production from different players turning down a good shot for a better one. The Lady Vikes were taller and stronger than the Lady Rangers and used it to their advantage.

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“I got on them about getting the ball inside,” Martin-Glass said. “We came back the second half and had players looking for their teammates and not just try and get wide open shots.”

Martin-Glass wants her team to be aggressive on defense and the Lady Vikes have come around to the philosophy as Fultz, Kiara Lockhart, TeAsia Sims and DaSha McGloster each came away with at least one steal.

Amber Gaston also played well inside, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds on the offensive end as the Lady Vikes extended an 11-point lead into the comfortable 24-point final margin of victory.

The one thing Martin-Glass has stressed to her team is that defense wins championships.

“Whether we’re having a good night on the offensive end, you got to be able to stop the team on the defensive end,” Martin-Glass said.

(B) Raymond 47, Warren Central 38

A put-back dunk by Cameron Woodall highlighted a 14-5 run midway through the fourth quarter that carried Raymond past Warren Central in the boys’ game.

After DeArius Henyard tied the game for Warren Central (1-2) at 33 with an offensive rebound and a put-back, Raymond’s John Wilson hit a mid-range jumper to regain the lead. That was followed by an offensive tip-in from Gawick Murray and Woodall’s dunk with five minutes left.

The final three minutes served as a benchmark for Warren Central’s mental toughness. Youth and inexperience got the best of the Vikings during that time.

“We’re young and any moment in that last three minutes we had three sophomores on the floor,” Vikings coach Bruce Robinson said. “The only experienced player was Travonta Miller. The bottom line: we’re still not mentally tough enough to win that game. But youth has to play a part of that.”

Robinson said mental mistakes came during situations where a Raymond player would drive the baseline and they should’ve taken a charge, or getting beat on a loose ball or having the wrong man take the ball out of bounds to set up a play.

“Those type of things show you’re not, No. 1 disciplined enough, No. 2 not mentally tough enough, and No. 3 focused in on what we need to do to win this ballgame,” Robinson said. “There’s no reason in the world we shouldn’t have won that ballgame.”

The Vikings’ youth comes from players like Jacques Jones, a sophomore who is in his first year with the varsity team. Henyard and Chavis Smith are also sophomores and contributed a combined 16 points against Raymond. Smith led the team in scoring each of its first two games.

Robinson looked at his team even having a chance to win the game as a positive.

“For us to even have a chance to win at the end of that ballgame, those kids really got out there and fought,” Robinson said. “They did a great job of staying in that game. I saw us get some tough rebounds. I saw the fight there.”