Greenville overpowers Vikings

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CLINTON — A slow start put Warren Central’s back against the wall in more ways than one.

The Vikings only scored two points in the first quarter, digging a whole they never crawled out of in a 47-32 loss to Greenville in the first round of the Division 4-6A tournament Tuesday at Clinton High School.

Greenville led by at least six points throughout the last three quarters and advanced to Friday’s championship game against Murrah. Murrah beat Clinton 66-60 in the other first-round game Tuesday.

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

“They beat us in the paint. They got a lot of offensive rebounds, transition baskets. Their size is a tremendous advantage when it comes to us. We just had trouble scoring,” Warren Central coach Bruce Robinson said.

Despite the loss, Warren Central (11-16) lived to fight another day. It’ll play Clinton (16-12) in the third-place game Friday at 5:30 p.m. The top three teams in each division advance to the state tournament, so Friday’s game is do-or-die for both the Vikings and the Arrows.

WC and Clinton split their two regular-season meetings.

“We got to the mindset that we couldn’t beat Greenville. But we’ve got the mindset that we could beat (Clinton) if we’re straight,” Robinson said.

Shaun Walton led Warren Central with 21 points. Eric Grossley scored 12 for Greenville, Dehsaven Flowers had 11 and Nate Watkins 10. Flowers scored eight of his points in the second half, and Grossley scored eight in the second quarter.

The Vikings lost twice to Greenville (24-4) in the regular season and didn’t have a lot of answers for them in the postseason, either.

After falling behind 11-2 at the end of the first quarter, the Vikings kept the margin between six and 10 points until the fourth quarter. Finally, a series of missed shots and turnovers allowed Greenville to pull away.

A putback dunk by Flowers was part of a 9-3 run that put the Hornets ahead 43-30 with just over three minutes remaining. They cruised from there.

“We’d give up offensive rebounds or turn it over, and that’s a big factor. You fight to get a stop. Our first shot defense was pretty good today. It’s the second shot and the third shot,” Robinson said. “And their transition, when they go down they’re scoring. You can’t set up to take the charge. They’re just going by you. You’re talking about a 15-point ballgame and they had at least 10 transition layups, four, five, six, eight offensive rebounds. You can’t beat yourself like that.”

In addition to being outsized by Greenville, WC was hurt by its inability to draw fouls. Two free throws by Walton early in the fourth quarter were the only ones it shot in the game.

Greenville was 7-for-11 from the foul line.

“I thought we should have shot a few more free throws when you’re going to the basket. One official said we were shooting jump shots. I beg to differ. We didn’t shoot that many jumpers,” Robinson said. “I don’t know if I’ve played a game where you only shoot two free throws when you’re going to the basket with the ball and playing against a physical team.”

Division 4-6A tournament

At Clinton High School



Warren Central vs. Clinton, 4 p.m.

Greenville vs. Murrah, 7 p.m.



Warren Central vs. Clinton, 5:30 p.m.

Murrah vs. Greenville, 8:30 p.m.

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