Warren Central keeps undefeated Brandon in check, but can’t win

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

BRANDON — Warren Central did its best to slow down Brandon’s high-scoring offense, but only succeeded in slowing its own roll.

Schdarren Archie scored 12 points, and Jayveous McKinnis scored eight of his 10 in the second half as Brandon beat Warren Central 49-38 on Tuesday to snap the Vikings’ two-game winning streak.

Brandon had scored 80 points or more in three of its previous four games and came in entering 67.7 per game. Warren Central (5-4) kept the Bulldogs (11-0) to their lowest point total of the season, but couldn’t quite generate enough offense of its own to win.

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“They’re just such efficient scorers. They beat somebody 80-32, 90-40. Ours is a process. We’re not ready to rip and run with that,” Warren Central coach Bruce Robinson said. “And then I was telling my coaches, that’s playoff basketball. We’re just trying to get playoff ready. We weren’t going to rip and run with them. We’re not ready for that.”

The Vikings came out in the first half intending to stall and shorten the game. They trailed 8-2 at the end of the first quarter and then spent the first two minutes of the second passing the ball around the perimeter without even looking for a shot.

Brandon eventually turned a couple of turnovers into points and stretched the lead to 18-6 at halftime.

“Our strategy was just to play defense. They had never played a team that could play defense like we do,” said Warren Central guard Shaun Walton, who scored a game-high 18 points.

Needing some offense to catch up, the Vikings went back to a more traditional style in the second half and had plenty of success. Walton scored 16 of his 18 points after halftime, and the Vikings actually outscored Brandon 32-31 in the last two quarters.

“We started to figure out where their offense was developing and where their shots were coming from. When we figured that out, that’s when our offense started coming,” Walton said.

The Vikings never did get within striking distance, though. The closest they got was seven points. McKinnis dunked and hit a free throw to complete a three-point play with a minute left to make it 47-35.
After Chavis Smith hit a 3-pointer for Warren Central, Brandon’s Lagarious White threw down one more dunk with 28 seconds left to put an emphatic exclamation point on the victory.

White finished with eight points for the Bulldogs, and Kevin Taylor scored nine. DeAries Henyard had seven for Warren Central.

“We did it my way in the first half, and it worked. But then I wanted to see if we could play with them,” Robinson said. “We can play with them, barring some turnovers. I think we played a lot better in the second half.”

(G) Warren Central 50, Brandon 24

Amber Gaston scored a game-high 24 points and had three blocked shots as Warren Central (8-3) decimated Brandon (6-6).

Cocoa Fultz added nine points and four assists for the Lady Vikes, T.T. Sims had six assists and six steals, and Dee Dee Caldwell contributed six points and six rebounds.

Alexa Patton led Brandon with eight points No other Brandon player scored more than five.
Seven of Warren Central’s eight wins have been by double digits.

Warren Central won for the third time in four games. It will play Yazoo City Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ridgeland’s Titan Shootout, and then return to action the week after Christmas at the Jackson Public Schools Tournament.

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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