Missy Gators fall to Lanier in title game

Published 12:21 am Saturday, February 20, 2016

What hasn’t been done since 1999 for the Vicksburg high girls basketball team was 32 minutes away from their possession. But Lanier wouldn’t let the Missy Gators be great and denied them their first division title in 16 years by winning 65-51 Friday in the Division 4-5A tournament championship game.

Despite the loss, the Missy Gators will continue their season. They had already clinched a spot in the Class 5A state tournament, and will host Germantown in the first round Monday at 7 p.m.

Brittany Rose was the catalyst for Lanier’s win, scoring a game-high 28 points. She put the team on her back, stepped up to make big shots and sacrificed her body for the win. At the end of the first half, Rose drove baseline for a floater to put the Lady Bulldogs up 33-24.

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“I think our defense was good when we were doing our 1-3. I think that worked better for us, playing this kind of team,” said Vicksburg’s Karry Callahan, who scored 21 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. “They had one player we needed to stop and I think after that we kind of shut down when she started taking control.”

Rose went on to display her array of offensive moves throughout the game by pulling up from the free throw line, spinning along the baseline to shake defenders for an easy layup and spinning for a floater and drawing the foul.

“At the end of the game we let Brittany really take over the game. She stepped up for her team,” Callahan said.

Vicksburg got off to a 10-3 lead midway through the first quarter and held it to the end of the period. Offensive efforts from Callahan and Micha Williams fell short during the their second-half comeback bid.

Williams made two quick 3s early in the third quarter, as her first shot beyond the arc ignited a 9-2 run. Callahan was successful on an and-one free throw to pull Vicksburg within three points of a tie.

The Missy Gators were down seven midway through the fourth quarter when Keiyana Gaskin and Kerrica McRunnells missed three offensive putbacks.

Callahan said she felt the game begin to slip away from her team around that time, when Rose again took over for Lanier and scored 13 fourth-quarter points.

“Brittany (Rose) started doing her thing, one on one and she was taking it to the hoop and she was making her shots,” Callahan said.

Lanier’s defense was successful at trapping ballhandlers all game, which forced the Missy Gators to make irrational passes from across half court for easy interceptions. They committed 17 turnovers.

“That was all on us. We went over all of that in practice and I think we didn’t capitalize like we should have,” Callahan said.


Monday, 7 p.m.

Germantown at Vicksburg

Class 5A girls state tournament