Warren Central, Vicksburg renew basketball rivalry Saturday

Published 9:31 am Thursday, January 5, 2017

It’s only been a month since Warren Central and Vicksburg met on the basketball court, but in that brief period of time it seems the courses of two programs have drifted much farther apart than the six miles or so of Interstate 20 that separate their buildings.

On the girls’ side, Vicksburg has stumbled to a 3-9 record so far. It’s 72-33 loss to Warren Central on Dec. 9 was one of eight in a nine-game span, and all have been by double digits.

Warren Central, meanwhile, won the prestigious Jackson Public Schools Tournament last week, and is 14-4 with a five-game winning streak heading into the second and final meeting with Vicksburg Saturday at noon at WC.

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The surge of success has the Lady Vikes brimming with confidence, coach Jackie Glass said.

“It’s a good thing for me, because for one it builds my girls’ confidence up that they can compete. Now when you go into other opponents’ arenas, you’re going in knowing you did something spectacular,” Glass said. “We’re good. And basketball, to me, is like shooting a shot. Eighty percent is mental, 20 percent is probably form. It’s believing that you are something and you can really accomplish what you need to.”

What the Lady Vikes need is another big victory heading into their Division 4-6A opener Tuesday at home against Clinton (13-4). Every team in Division 4-6A — Warren Central, Clinton, Murrah and Greenville — has at least 10 wins so far.

And, in the Missy Gators, Warren Central seems to have the perfect opponent to give them the springboard they need going into the toughest part of the schedule. Warren Central is giving up an average of 35 points per game, and Vicksburg has not scored more than 50 in any game this season.

The boys’ game Saturday figures to be much more competitive, even if the teams have followed differing paths since Warren Central scratched out a 41-39 victory at Vicksburg a month ago.

Warren Central (7-6) has been up and down since then, with three wins and four losses in its last seven games. Vicksburg is 3-0, heading into back-to-back road games against division rival Ridgeland on Friday night and then WC on Saturday afternoon. The Gators have an 8-3 record overall, and the loss to the Vikings in December was their only one in the past eight games.

With what figures to be a crowd split evenly for the crosstown rivalry game, this should also be a welcome homecoming for both teams.

Warren Central is playing just its third home game this season, and the start of a rare homestand. Three of the team’s next four games are at home, representing half of the entire home schedule this season.
Warren Central will also host the Division 4-6A tournament in February.

Meanwhile, this is the closest thing Vicksburg will have to a home game for more than a month. After hosting Warren Central on Dec. 9, the Gators and Missy Gators embarked on a stretch of 10 consecutive road games in a five-week span. They won’t play in their own gym again until hosting Germantown in the Red Carpet Basketball Classic on Jan. 21.

Oddly, the Red Carpet Classic kicks off a string of four straight home games for VHS, its longest homestand of the season.


Saturday, Noon

Admission: $6

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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