Lady Vikes lose on buzzer beater

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It took all 32 minutes to decide a winner in Tuesday night’s girls’ basketball game between Warren Central and Clinton.

Warren Central had the lead the entire game, but a buzzer-beating shot by Clinton’s Vivian Tripp gave the Lady Arrows a 39-37 victory.

“It was a great win against a great team because Warren Central is ranked in the Super 10. They are one of the best teams in the state of Mississippi,” Clinton coach Mike Coleman said. “They deserve all the recognition they’re getting.”

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With three minutes left in the game, Clinton tied the score at 34 on a 3-pointer by Sahlmahlah Brown, but Warren Central responded with a 3-pointer of its own a minute later by T.T. Sims. Brown wasted no time getting Clinton another 3-pointer about 10 seconds later to tie the game again with less than two minutes to go.

Neither team could score in those final minutes. A couple timeouts and a couple fouls later, the Lady Arrows found themselves in possession of the ball with three-tenths of a second on the clock, and Tripp made the final shot at the buzzer.

“Coach Coleman called the perfect play,” Clinton assistant coach and Vicksburg High alum Alexus Stirgus said. “Everybody looked for (Tripp) to receive the ball, and (she) was wide open. It was like the Red Sea just opened up at the right times for us. Praise God.”

The Lady Vikes (14-5, 0-1 Division 4-6A) were up 20-17 with about three minutes left in the first half when coach Jacqueline Martin-Glass decided the game was too physical and felt there was a lack of calls being made. She told Te’Asia Sims to hold the ball near midcourt to stop play. As the clock ticked, Sims stood with the ball in hand for almost all three minutes without any pressure by the Lady Arrows.

“It was my purpose at some point to pull the ball out because I felt like it was getting a little too physical, and all the physicality wasn’t playing in our favor. So I decided to pull out,” Martin-Glass said. “It was more about just making a statement. I didn’t like the physicality of the game. It wasn’t playing in our favor. So I told my girls if I feel like I’m not getting what I want on the court, then I’ll just hold it for a little while and see if I can get them to see my point of view.”

With about 25 seconds left in the half, Te’Asia Sims went for a shot and failed. Clinton rebounded and went for its own goal but was unable to put any points on the board going into halftime. However, Stirgus said she feels like that was when her team started to make its comeback.

“Even though we didn’t score, I feel like it was a backbreaker and it gave us the energy that we needed for the second half,” she said. “We were not going to come out at all. We were just going to wait, and if they were going to hold it for three minutes, they were just going to hold it.”

Shania Wright led the Lady Arrows with 15 points. Amber Gaston led Warren Central with 10 points.

“I felt like my team didn’t execute. They had too many turnovers, and we gave up too many second opportunity shots. That really hurt us in the end. You can’t give up two and three opportunities,” Martin-Glass said.

(B) Clinton 57, Warren Central 40

After being behind by one at the end of the first quarter, Clinton took charge in Tuesday night’s basketball game and got a decisive victory.

“It’s always good to win a district game on the road,” Clinton coach Clay Norton said. “Warren Central is a really good rival and that goes into play with what we try to do and try to prepare for.”

Warren Central (7-8, 0-1 Division 4-6A) got the lead with just under 2 minutes left in the first quarter and was able to finish the quarter on top 16-15. Clinton answered in the second quarter by going on a 10-0 run, which Norton attributed to his team’s pressing.

“We were able to maintain, hold and run our press throughout the rest of the game,” Norton said.

Warren Central came within four points, but Clinton went into halftime on top 32-24. The Arrows stretched the lead to 13 before ending the third quarter at 44-33. In the fourth, Clinton was able to take it home 57-40.

Warren Central coach Bruce Robinson complimented the crowd and the atmosphere, but said the game was tough.

“In this district you’ve got to win your district games at home. If you don’t win at home you’re going to have to pick up one or two somewhere on the road,” he said.

Like Norton, Robinson thought his team’s press was what kept them in the first half, but he felt they needed to work on passing and finishing at the rim.

Alabama signee Galin Smith had 24 points for Clinton, followed by Robert Davis with 18 and Jerrez Porter with 10. Chavis Smith led Warren Central with nine points.

(B) Madison Central 66, Vicksburg 47

Javion Jordan scored 18 points and Madison Central (7-5) beat Vicksburg (9-5) for the second time in a month.

Joe Thomas and Kirk Parker each scored 12 points for Vicksburg, while Raheam Moore finished with nine.

(B) Park Place 61, St. Aloysius 60

Park Place Christian scored the go-ahead basket with 1.9 seconds left, and St. Al’s Sean Simpson had a shot roll out at the buzzer as the Flashes lost their second District 3-AAA game in as many days.

Tyler Lewis led St. Al with 16 points and Jaylen Whitaker scored 15.

Park Place also won the girls’ game, 56-27.

St. Al will play at Briarfield Academy on Thursday night.

(G) Vicksburg 49, Madison Central 40

Kerricka McRunnells had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Jayla Sims added eight points, four assists and four steals, and Vicksburg (4-9) beat Madison Central for the second time this season.

Pleasure King and Gada Clay had six rebounds apiece for the Missy Gators. Alexis Carter scored 10 points.

Amber Sutton led Madison Central (2-12) with 10 points.