Warren Central overcomes sluggish effort

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The early part of the high school basketball season seems to be one long test in overcoming adversity for Warren Central.

The Lady Vikes have had to deal with injuries, the absence of their best player for several games, and some bouts of uneven play. They’ve come through most of it smiling so far, with 10 wins in 11 games and the look of a championship contender.

The Lady Vikes beat Brandon 51-44 on Tuesday for their third win in a row. They overcame foul trouble and an inability to shake the Lady Bulldogs after getting a big lead early, and then a small fourth quarter deficit to win.

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“It’s good to have adversity when you’re playing bad and still can close. In the past, we had adversity and weren’t able to finish. We always came up on the short end of the stick,” Warren Central coach Jackie Martin-Glass said. “Tonight, even though we played really bad to me, we had injuries and fouls and still were able to make plays and hold it. That’s a positive. It builds you for the future.”

The Lady Vikes jumped out to an 11-1 lead in the opening moments of the game and then stalled. Brandon eventually whittled the deficit to one point at the end of the third quarter and briefly took the lead early in the fourth.

Warren Central responded with a 13-2 run, however, to take a 44-34 lead and then was able to close it out from there.

Amber Gaston, who had missed the previous two games with an ankle injury, led the Lady Vikes (10-1) with 14 points. T.T. Sims added 13 points and Cocoa Fultz scored seven. Six Warren Central players finished with four fouls each.

Kayla Simmons led Brandon (7-4) with 24 points.

“It was an ugly win for us. I feel like our body language was kind of down. We were just hanging around and sloppy. It wasn’t our game tonight, but we pulled it out,” Martin-Glass said.

Warren Central will return to action Saturday at noon against Terry, in a holiday tournament at Ridgeland High School.

(B) WC 58, Brandon 50

Warren Central’s boys’ team stayed red hot by using a balanced effort to beat Brandon.
Chris Early scored 14 points to lead the Vikings (7-2), who had eight players score at least two points and five score six points or more.

DeArius Henyard added 11 points, Jacques Jones scored 10, Jabari Bowman had nine and Chavis Smith six. Warren Central won its seventh straight game.

“Solid effort. Good team win,” said Warren Central coach Bruce Robinson, who returned to the bench Tuesday after missing the first month of the season on medical leave. “We tried to wear them down with our depth. We are trying to develop a strong bench. One thing we want to do is play groups or teams together so they will become comfortable playing with each other.”

(G) Vicksburg 54, Forest Hill 33

Kemari Smith scored a game-high 14 points, Pleasure King had six points and six rebounds, and Vicksburg High (6-4) routed Forest Hill.

Eleven players scored for the Missy Gators. Yakia Burns chipped in seven points and Karen Davenport scored six. G’Ada Clay and Tiarra Jones had seven rebounds apiece.

Since starting 2-0 in early November, the Missy Gators have neither won nor lost two consecutive games.

In the boys’ game, Forest Hill beat Vicksburg 60-51 to hand the Gators (4-6) their fourth loss in five games.

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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