Vicksburg looks to ride momentum into state tournament

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Kirk Parker’s stellar 12 point, 18 rebound performance against Neshoba Central in the third place game of the District 4-5A division tournament is a thing of the past as Vicksburg faces a new challenge.

The Gators begin their quest for a state championship against Holmes County Central in the opening round of the MHSAA Boys Championship tournament tonight in Lexington.

“We’re going into Holmes County with a real good basketball team with good athletes. They run the floor well, shoot the ball well and we’ll definitely be in a dog fight,” Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson said. “I think coming off the win against Neshoba Central, we feel good about ourselves and feel like we can play with anybody right now.”

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Robinson said the team’s confidence after the win against Neshoba last friday is real high and hopes it continues to escalate, which is what they need at this point of the season.

Holmes County Central is not unlike any other team the Gators have faced this season. Jim Hill and Greenville come to Robinson’s mind when thinking about the athleticism the Jaguars will bring.

The Gators lost both games against Jim HIll and Greenville. Jim Hill edged out the Gators by seven points in the Martin Luther King Jr. Basketball Classic in mid-January, which was the final loss of a four-game slide.

Vicksburg suffered a one-point defeat against Greenville three weeks later.

Robinson said after playing teams with similar speed and length as Holmes County Central, the Gators know what they have to do to be successful.

In terms of matchup, the Jaguars have two big men who can hold their own against Parker and Raheam Moore in the paint.

“They have a kid about 6’5 in the post and they have another kid that’s 6’6 in the post,” Robinson said. “I think Kirk (Parker) and Raheam (Moore) matchup real well with them.”

The key for the Gators to edge out Holmes County Central is to make shots, rebound well and get back in transition.

Since Holmes County Central can push the ball and score in transition well, Robinson said the game could be won or lost based off that aspect.

Robinson said if the Gators can slow down Holmes County’s speed, they would be in a great position to win.

“It helps us too. We’re not good in a half-court set,” Robinson said. “Anytime we get out and run a little bit i think we play a lot better so we’re looking forward to it.”