Turnovers doom Vicksburg in close loss

Published 8:58 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The ball didn’t bounce in favor of the Vicksburg Missy Gators against Greenville’s Honeybees on Tuesday night. Misjudged passes played a role in the 19 turnovers Vicksburg accumulated during the game, and the 60-55 loss it took.

“I think we did a good job as far as defense and offense. We learned new plays and different defense. To say we only practiced one day, we did a good job,” said Vicksburg’s Karry Callahan, who finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds and nine steals.

Vicksburg stayed within striking distance for much of the game, tying the score at 24 going into halftime and twice in the third quarter.

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However, the Honeybees were able to score five straight points in the first 30 seconds of the fourth to take a 46-40 lead with points from Tanesha Miller, Destiny Hemphill and Ranesha Cook.

“At times we came out there, we let them take off but we never gave up,” Callahan said.

Keyiana Gaskin broke Vicksburg’s scoring drought with a layup in the paint around the 5:30 mark in the final quarter. Gaskin later found Callahan for a layup to bring the score to 51-44.

Micha Williams scored 12 of her 23 points in the fourth quarter to help the Missy Gators fight back. Pleasure King assisted on one of Williams’ 3s as she closed the deficit to 53-50.

When Williams is getting the ball in pivotal moments, she feeds off her teammates’ energy and trust.

“It makes me feel good like they need me. It makes me play better,” Williams said.

But, the Honeybees outscored the Missy Gators 7-5 over the final 3:18 to hang on.

“We made careless mistakes at the end and we just didn’t come out on top,” Williams said.

Vicksburg will host Brandon in its regular season finale on Friday.

(B) Greenville 42, Vicksburg 41

Greenville took the air out of the game to help secure its victory over Vicksburg on Tuesday night.

With 26 seconds left, Vicksburg’s Joe Thomas hit both free throws for the Gators’ final points. Jeremiah Williams then bodied his way into the lane and scored with 12 seconds left to put Greenville ahead 42-41.

Thomas had a chance to win it for the Gators, but missed a shot with 2.6 seconds left.

“The play was set up for it to go to Kirk (Parker) in the middle. I was on the backside and Raheam (Moore) was on the ball side. We couldn’t get it in to Kirk so I had to come up,” Thomas said. “It hurt to play good that whole game and give it up by one.”

Kenneth Murphy led Vicksburg in scoring with 13 points, followed by Parker and Moore with six apiece.

Vicksburg was up 36-26 in the third quarter with a little under 4 minutes left. By the end of the period, Greenville had cut it to three.

“A combination of things happened to us. We had a couple of turnovers, we missed a couple of shots and they made a couple of 3-point shots,” Gators coach Dellie C. Robinson said. I think that was the difference. Turning the ball over back to back in the beginning of the third quarter gave them the momentum they needed.”

The Gators were forced to adjust their defense from a 2-3 zone to more man-to-man to stop Greenville’s outside scoring threat. That led to more scoring in the paint for the Hornets.

“We played well, we hustled but we just couldn’t finish well. Even the last shot was a good shot but we just couldn’t finish,” Robinson said.

Robinson was pleased with how well his team shot the ball, which had been a problem.

“I thought we played better as a group than we have in the past. (Murphy) got into a rhythm and started driving the ball to the basket,” Robinson said.