Gators hold off Ridgeland in 4-5A tournament

Published 9:03 am Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Vicksburg Gators stopped a rare losing streak and made sure their season would go on for at least another week.

Kirk Parker had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Ke’Darrion Parson scored all 12 of his points in the second half as the Gators beat Ridgeland 46-43 Monday in the first round of the Division 4-5A boys’ basketball tournament at Neshoba Central.

Jermiyah Brown also finished with eight points, all in the second half, and along with Parson helped the Gators (18-8) close it out with some clutch free throws in the final minute.

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Vicksburg snapped a two-game losing streak — its first in a month — and advanced to the championship game Friday at 8:30 p.m. It’ll face the winner of tonight’s first-round game between tournament host Neshoba Central and Lanier. Ridgeland (15-12) will face the Neshoba-Lanier loser in the third-place game Friday at 5:30 p.m.

More importantly, the Gators clinched a spot in the Class 5A state tournament that begins next week. They will earn a first-round bye by winning the division title, or host a first-round game next Monday if they lose in the division championship game.

Vicksburg’s girls’ team will face Lanier in the first round of that tournament Tuesday at 6 p.m.