Vikings beat VHS for third time in four meetings

Published 12:17 am Sunday, January 10, 2016

While the 15-point early December loss to Vicksburg still stands on Warren Central’s record, it can at least take solace in getting revenge.

Shunterrance Walton scored 16 points, grabbed at least four rebounds and had a steal to lead the Vikings past the Gators, 43-40 on Saturday. Warren Central earned a split of the season series and has now won three of the last four against its crosstown rival, after losing 19 in a row to them.

Neither team gained a significant advantage over the other as a 24-16 Vikings’ lead in the second quarter served as the biggest separation between the teams. Warren Central took a 26-23 lead into halftime.

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“It feels good,” Vikings coach Bruce Robinson said. “Anytime you can play before a crowd like this, your crosstown rivals, a game you’ve been waiting for since the last time you played it and you can come away with a win. Especially the way we played over there the last time it’s a good, tough victory.”

Vicksburg’s Dentarius Richardson’s only points came on a 3-pointer with a little more than three minutes left in the game. It brought Vicksburg within two, at 37-35.

Jalen Allen missed two free-throws that would’ve given the Vikings a 43-40 lead, but after an out of bounds calls went against the Gators, Travonte Miller came behind his teammate to score the final points of the game.

With 8 seconds left in the game, Vicksburg’s Kenneth Murphy attempted a game-tying 3-pointer, but shot it too hard and missed the rim as time expired.

“Vonte stepped up and made two huge free throws that gives us a three-point lead,” Robinson said. “Now that’s different on how they approach what they have to do. So that’s what I was telling them just stay calm, we’re ok. We’ve been here before.”

The Gators entered Saturday’s game just 16 hours removed from winning their division opener against Ridgeland.

“I thought Warren Central’s kids outhustled us,” Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson said. “I don’t know if we were tired from last night. We went into a rut where we couldn’t score and we get that way sometimes where we can’t score and that hurt us more than anything else.

It was also the second game for Vicksburg forward Kirk Parker, who suffered an elbow injury back in November.

Parker came off a 12-point night to put up 21 in his first Vicksburg-Warren Central game of the season. He found success with free points and went 5-for-6 from the line. He also scored 12 points in the second quarter.

Dellie Robinson said the Vikings did a good job of denying Parker the ball in the paint, which exposed their inability to make jumpers.

“We’ve got to be able to make some shots outside,” Vicksburg’s Robinson said. “We get some wide-open shots and we’re not making them, we’re going to have to make them shots to keep them off of Kirk.”

However, Bruce Robinson commended the Gators for making Parker a primary part of their game plan and repeatedly giving him the ball.

“You toss it down to him and he does what he does well. He’s not going to get too far from the basket and he’s just going to put that ball in there, nice little soft hook shot,” WC’s Robinson said. “That’s one thing they did well was utilize their big man and that’s going to take them a long way when you talk about going into January and February.”