Gators’ comeback falls short against Terry

Published 12:15 pm Friday, November 11, 2016

A few months from now, a loss like the one Vicksburg High took on Thursday night might haunt it for years. At this early stage of the season, it only seemed like a momentary disappointment.

The Gators erased nearly all of a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, but missed two game-tying 3-pointers in the final 10 seconds and lost 57-54 to Terry in their home opener.

“Even though we lost, I thought we didn’t quit,” Vicksburg coach Dellie C. Robinson said. “We hate the result, but we love the effort. That’s a talented team we played tonight.”

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Dentarius Richardson and Kirk Parker scored 19 points apiece for Vicksburg (1-1), while Arturro Bingham led Terry (2-0) with 14.

Terry used a 10-2 run in the second quarter to open a 35-21 lead at halftime, and maintained it until the last 3 ½ minutes of the game. After trailing by 14 entering the fourth quarter, Vicksburg crept within nine on a basket by Richardson with 3:15 to go.

Another basket by Parker and a 3-pointer by Richardson with 17.3 seconds remaining got the Gators within three, at 57-54, as they closed the game with a 14-4 run.

Terry twice missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw that could have closed it out, giving the Gators a chance in the final seconds. Richardson missed a 3-pointer from the right corner with seven seconds left, and then Jermyal Brown’s off-balance 3 from the top of the arc was well off the mark as time expired.

Although the last two tries from 3-point range were no good, Robinson said he was happy with his team’s long range shooting overall and that it would be key to any success they’ll have this year.

The Gators hit five 3-pointers on Thursday.

“If we continue to get good guard play, we have a great chance to make a run. If Kardell (English) and Richardson shoot well, we can make a run,” Robinson said. “We spent a lot of time this summer working on our 3-point shooting, and it’s improving.”

Overall, Robinson said he was optimistic about the Gators’ chances this season. They routed North Panola 63-33 in their season opener last Saturday, and will be without starting forward Raheam Moore until after football season.

If Moore can complement Parker as a threat in the post, and English and Richardson can shoot well enough from outside to take the pressure off the big men, the Gators could indeed be a contender in Class 5A.

“We’ve got a pretty good group now,” Robinson said. “We’ll be even better when football season is over.”

(G) Terry 66, Vicksburg 38

Vicksburg’s girls’ team only trailed by nine points at halftime, but unlike the boys did not have a comeback in them. Terry (3-0) used a stifling defense and a big run early in the second half to score an easy win over the Missy Gators (1-1).

“They’re just a well-rounded team. They’ve got some pure shooters. We did some good things, we’ve just got a lot more we’ve got to work on,” Vicksburg coach Barbara Hartzog said. “Our defense was good. We got a lot of opportunities. We just didn’t finish up on them.”

The Missy Gators will host Yazoo City Tuesday at 6 p.m.

(G) Warren Central 45, Raymond 33

Amber Gaston had 13 points and eight rebounds, Aniya Sanders had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Warren Central (2-0) remained unbeaten by defeating its second state power in a row.

The Lady Vikes opened the season with a 51-38 victory over defending Class 6A champion Callaway last Saturday.

This time it was perennial Class 4A contender Raymond that WC dispatched. The Lady Rangers (0-2) made a run to get within two points in the fourth quarter after trailing for most of the game, but Warren Central converted several second-chance opportunities to push the lead back to 12 late in the game.

“We got off to a slow start, but managed to hold on until our run came,” Warren Central coach Jackie Glass said.

Cocoa Fultz added six points and 12 rebounds for Warren Central, and Dominique Caldwell scored seven points.

(B) Raymond 67, Warren Central 38

Chavis Smith scored 17 points for Warren Central, but it wasn’t enough as the Vikings dropped their season opener to Raymond (2-1).

Raymond jumped out to a 22-1 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back.

Warren Central will play at Hattiesburg on Saturday afternoon, and then face Ridgeland Tuesday night in its home opener.

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.

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