Vikings win first state tournament game since 1975

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

For the first time in two generations, Warren Central’s boys’ basketball team got to celebrate a victory in the state tournament.

Shaun Walton scored 15 points, Jalen Glass had 11 and Raleigh Floyd 10 as the Vikings beat Hernando 57-29 in the first round of the Class 6A tournament Tuesday night.

Warren Central had not won a game in the state tournament since 1975. It reached the satellite or play-in round several times since it was implemented in 1988, but never made it further than that until now.

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“It’s something we can build on. I am hoping it propels us forward. It’s a big win for the seniors,” WC coach Bruce Robinson said.

Up next for the Vikings is a long road trip Friday to Olive Branch (24-6) for the second round. The Conquistadors have won eight of their last nine games.

Warren Central’s (12-15) win over Hernando (9-18) was just its second in the last six games.

“We are proud of our guys for coming together to get to Olive Branch. It’s been a year of adversity and challenges,” Robinson said. “Olive Branch has got a good big man. They have a good guard. We’re going to get some film and see what we can do with them.”

Hernando led at the end of the first quarter Tuesday, 12-11, but fell apart soon after. The Tigers only scored five points in the second quarter, and 12 in the second half.

The Vikings took full advantage of the swoon to gain a 26-17 lead by halftime, and then steadily pulled away over the last two quarters. The 28-point final margin was its biggest this season.

Chavis Smith and Kevin Virges added eight points apiece for Warren Central. C.J. Maxwell led Hernando with 14 points, and was its only player to score in double figures.

“We told them home playoff games are one of the good things in sports. You have to win your home playoff games,” Robinson said. “Once we got up we wanted to keep the pressure on them. Not let up. Keep the intensity.”

Tuesday – First round
Vicksburg 65, West Point 47 (Class 5A boys)
Warren Central 57, Hernando 29 (Class 6A boys)
Warren Central 57, Hernando 29 (Class 6A girls)
Friday – Second round
6 p.m. – Warren Central at Olive Branch (Class 6A boys)
7 p.m. – Warren Central at Olive Branch (Class 6A boys)
Saturday – Second round
7 p.m. – Vicksburg at Clarksdale (Class 5A boys)