Vikings demolish Yazoo City
Published 8:30 pm Saturday, December 17, 2016
RIDGELAND — At halftime of Saturday’s boys basketball game between Warren Central and Yazoo City, it seems, hardly anyone was happy.
The fans in attendance watched the two teams slog through a low-scoring, slow-paced defensive battle. Warren Central coach Bruce Robinson gave his team an earful in the locker room about its lackluster play. Halfway through the third quarter, Yazoo City coach Karshae Peterson pulled his starters off the court and went with the backups.
That last bit of frustration was what ultimately turned the close game into a blowout.
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Warren Central held Yazoo City to two points in the third quarter — on a basket scored in the final seconds — and overcame a small halftime deficit to win 59-32 at the Ridgeland Titan Shootout.
“I think we played better defense, but I don’t know how much we did. Midway through the third quarter he took his starters out and we went on our run from there. I can’t explain that because they were giving us fits,” Robinson said.
Shaun Walton scored 18 points for Warren Central (6-4), which won for the third time in four games. Raleigh Floyd added 14 points.
Warren Central scored the first 17 points of the third quarter and outscored Yazoo City 41-11 in the second half after trailing 21-18 at halftime
Yazoo City (7-6) had taken the lead in the closing seconds of the second quarter, when Sam Johnson scored a bucket and then went coast-to-coast with a steal and layup at the buzzer.
Johnson led the Indians with nine points.
That led Robinson to give his team a stern talking-to during the halftime break.
“I’m happy with the way they responded, because we told them in no uncertain terms in the locker room how disappointed we were and that we’re a much better team than we showed in the first half,” Robinson said. “One of my biggest concerns is discipline with this group. Talent is not the problem, it’s discipline. It’s the small things we ought to take care of. We’re getting down to January. It’s time to shore some of this stuff up.”
The Vikings pulled ahead in the early stages of the third quarter and then surged ahead once Yazoo City’s starters were on the bench. Floyd converted a three-point play and Walton a four-point play with a made 3-pointer and a free throw to put Warren Central ahead 33-21 with 2:30 remaining.
The Vikings led 37-23 at the end of the third quarter. Yazoo City’s only points came on a basket by Dennis Starling just before the buzzer.
The win sends the Vikings into their holiday break on a high note. They won’t play again until the opening round of the Jackson Public Schools Tournament on Dec. 26, and Robinson said there will be minimal practice time this week because of exams and other activities.
“It’s a positive, especially when you’re talking this week,” Robinson said. “There’s not a whole lot of preparation time. We’ve got testing and other things going on, so we’re taking time off. So to win one with limited preparation is real good.”
(G) Warren Central 71, Yazoo City 24
Amber Gaston had a game-high 21 points and six rebounds, and Warren Central shot a blistering 73.8 percent (31-for-42) from the field to rout Yazoo City on Saturday.
“It probably should have been higher than that, because we missed some easy opportunities around the basket in the first quarter,” Warren Central coach Jackie Glass said of her team’s shooting percentage. “I was very disappointed in our lack of execution and lack of focus. We probably played pretty well. That particular team we were probably a little older and a little bit more skilled so we were able to get some good looks.”
Cocoa Fultz had 14 points, six rebounds, four steals and four assists, while Dee Dee Caldwell scored 11 points for the Lady Vikes (9-3). Aniya Sanders scored nine points, and Kiara Lockhart had eight points and six assists.
The Lady Vikes held Yazoo City to 10 points in the first three quarters and outscored the Lady Indians 25-4 in the second period to take firm control of the game. Warren Central had assists on 17 of its 31 made baskets and also had 17 steals as a team.
Gabriela Campbell led Yazoo City (1-11) with eight points.
(G) Vicksburg 43, Madison Central 32
The Vicksburg Missy Gators snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Madison Central in the Ridgeland Titan Shootout.
Leslee Toole and Kerricka McRunnells scored 10 points apiece to lead the Missy Gators (3-7). Forwards Eriel Bunch and Maya Clay only scored two points each, but had nine and 12 rebounds, respectively.
Vicksburg held Madison Central to seven points in the second half to overcome a six-point halftime deficit.
Amber Sutton led Madison Central (2-10) with 13 points and Naya Armstrong scored 10.
(B) Madison Central 53, Vicksburg 51
Javion Jordan scored 15 points as Madison Central (5-3) edged Vicksburg (7-4) in the latest in a string of close games for the Gators.
Vicksburg’s last four games have all been decided by five points or less, and three of them have been by two points. The Gators are 2-2 in those four games.
Raheam Moore led Vicksburg’s effort on Saturday with 19 points, Joe Thomas had eight, and Kirk Parker and Ke’Darrion Parson had seven each.
Parson had hit two free throws in overtime for the winning points against Northwest Rankin on Tuesday, and scored eight straight to trigger a decisive run in Friday’s win over Clinton. On Saturday, though, his late-game magic ran out. Parson missed an off-balance shot with 1.4 seconds left that could have tied the game.