Lady Vikes not discouraged after first loss

Published 10:17 pm Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Warren Central Lady Vikes missed a dozen layups, committed 24 turnovers and endured a dreadful final sequence in which they didn’t get a shot off while trailing Hattiesburg by two baskets.

And they were OK with it.

The Lady Vikes lost 47-41 to Class 5A powerhouse Hattiesburg on Saturday afternoon. It was a defeat largely of their own making, given the number of missed shots and turnovers they had, but also a competitive one that gave them a good early-season test and let them know where they stand.

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“It was a good game. It was a hard battle. I think there was a time we could have gave up and tucked our heads. This early in the game, for us to compete that well, I think there’s a lot to look forward to,” Warren Central coach Jackie Martin-Glass said.

Tamia Stinson scored 15 of her 21 points in the second half to lead Hattiesburg (5-0), while Amber Gaston finished with 12 points and eight rebounds for Warren Central (6-1). T.T. Sims added six points and 10 steals before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a possible concussion.

Hattiesburg opened an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Lady Vikes were able to mount a comeback. A 6-0 run midway through the period cut it to five. A jumper by Dee Dee Caldwell got it to 44-40 with 1:24 remaining, and a free throw by Cocoa Fultz made it a one-possession game.

That was as close as they got, though. The Lady Vikes missed three shots and committed a turnover in a 30-second span. Hattiesburg also struggled to put the game away with a string of missteps of its own, but Stinson hit one free throw with 22.6 seconds left to make it 45-41.

The Lady Vikes got the ball back, but never took another shot. With both point guards out of the game — T.T. Sims with her injury and Te’Asia Sims having fouled out — they worked the ball around the perimeter as the clock sped toward zero.

Da’Sha McGloster finally got a pass under the basket, but couldn’t handle it. It resulted in a turnover with 2.1 seconds left and Stinson hit two free throws to seal it for Hattiesburg.

“I feel like we hustled. We just got a little nervous there. It was just crazy. We got crazy. In the last 20 seconds like that, you’ve got to be patient and keep steady,” Gaston said.

Despite the finish, Gaston felt the Lady Vikes were able to take more positives than negatives away from this game.

“That’s probably one of the best games we’ve played all year, regardless of the games we won before. We’re going to come back and win again,” Gaston said. “It took a lot to keep pushing and persevere.”

(B) Warren Central 61, Hattiesburg 59

Warren Central got its football players back, and they brought their groove with them.

Shaunterrance Walton, playing in his first basketball game of the season less than 24 hours after he finished his duties with the football team, hit four 3-pointers in the second half and scored a team-high 16 points to lead Warren Central past Hattiesburg.

Kevin Virges scored 10 points for WC (3-4), Chavis Smith added eight and Jesse Wilson, another player who came over from the football team, scored five.

Warren Central won its second consecutive game after a shaky start to the season.

“After losing four games in a row, every win is a good win. Especially after we’ve played a number of ballgames, it’s time to start winning the close ones,” Warren Central coach Bruce Robinson said. “That’s tremendous for those kids to play a (football) game last night and then come in. They came in on their own. That just shows they feel strongly about being part of the program, and I’m proud of them for that.”

Walton and Hattiesburg’s K.J. Anderson engaged in a 3-point shootout for most of the second half. Anderson hit seven in the game, five of them in the second half, and finished with 21 points. Hattiesburg hit 10 treys as a team.

Walton, though, drilled one with 2:28 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Vikings in front 51-46, and they stayed a step ahead with some sharp free throw shooting. The Vikings went 8-for-10 from the foul line in the last 2 ½ minutes, with Jalen Allen hitting five of those free throws.

“If you’ve been keeping up with our ballgames, we haven’t been shooting free throws well,” Robinson said. “To knock down those free throws late in the ballgame like that, I think it gives us tremendous confidence. It’s going to help us moving forward, because our schedule is not getting any easier.”

Up next

Monday, 6 p.m.

Jefferson County at Warren Central

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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