Lady Vikes are boring, but they make it work
Published 9:30 am Thursday, January 5, 2017
In a lot of ways, watching Warren Central’s girls basketball team slog its way to a 36-25 win over Northwest Rankin on Tuesday night was the definition of bad high school basketball.
Neither team played well. Warren Central couldn’t hang onto the ball long enough in the second half to break the game open, and Northwest Rankin didn’t shoot well enough to take advantage of all the Lady Vikes’ turnovers and close a 15-point gap heading into the third quarter.
It would have been brutal to watch if not for one thing — Warren Central is so good at being boring that, if you watch them for a few games, you learn to appreciate it.
Email newsletter signup
The Lady Vikes are 14-4 this season, and in every one of their wins they’ve held the opponent under 40 points. They’re a defensive juggernaut that defends well and makes teams work hard for one shot. The clock bleeds down, opponents become impatient and put up something ill-advised, and then of WC’s talented rebounders swoop in to end the possession.
Then, on the offensive end, the Lady Vikes are endlessly patient. They can run when they need to, but they’re just as likely to pull up on a fast break and pass the ball around until a high-percentage shot in the post offers itself. They only shoot about four 3-pointers a game and are shooting 48 percent from inside the 3-point arc this season.
The cycle repeats itself until the Lady Vikes have choked out another opponet. At the end of the night, the score is something like 52-35 and you can figure out who has the 52.
It’s a style of basketball you have to see over the course of a few games to appreciate. It’s simple. It’s team-oriented. In short, it’s a purist’s dream.
Everyone does their job well, and seemingly without complaint. They appear just as happy to fill up the rebound or steal columns on the stat sheet as they are scoring in double figures, and because of that unselfishness they’ve got it rolling right now. WC is riding a five-game winning streak into Saturday’s home game with Vicksburg.
The weeks ahead will surely test the Lady Vikes. They’re one of four quality teams in Division 4-6A along with Clinton, Murrah and Greenville. The style they play, however, can take them through that gauntlet. They just have to stay patient and realize how beautiful boring can be.
Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org