Vikings fade late, have win streak snapped at 10

Published 7:55 am Thursday, December 28, 2017

JACKSON — The lasting memory of 2017 for Warren Central’s boys’ basketball team will be its emergence as a contender and a 10-game winning streak that set it up nicely for the second half of the season.

The last memory, however, will be of a loss.

University of Denver signee Taelyr Gatlin scored 33 points and Zachary Lewis scored 12 of his 18 in the fourth quarter as Memphis’ Brighton High School beat Warren Central 58-48 Wednesday in the second round of the Jackson Public Schools Tournament.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The Vikings (11-3) had a 10-game winning streak snapped that was the longest of coach Bruce Robinson’s six-year tenure. Although disappointed by Wednesday’s loss, he was very pleased with how the first half of the season has gone. The Vikings won’t play again until their Division 4-6A opener on Jan. 5.

Warren Central had beaten Madison Central 60-59 in its first-round game at the JPS Tournament on Tuesday.

“I feel real good about how we played the first half of the season. The way the basketball season is set up, you have the first half of your season, you play your holiday tournament, and then you’ve got your district schedule,” Robinson said. “I think what it did for us is, it gives us a little leg up on the competition because we’ve played a tough schedule. We know what we have to work with. But this one is over with and we have to get ready for Jan. 5.”

Jalen Glass led Warren Central with 17 points and Jabari Bowman added 10, but the Vikings struggled all day against Brighton. Their biggest lead was only five points, and the teams traded short runs and the lead for most of the game.

Brighton found itself in front by a point, 41-40, with a little over four minutes to go in the fourth quarter when it finally gained the separation needed to push it to victory.
Jordan Dowell hit a 3-pointer and Lewis a short floater to put the Cardinals ahead 48-40 with 2:55 to go. It was the start of a game-ending 17-4 run that proved decisive.

The Vikings turned the ball over twice and missed a shot on a third possession after cutting it to five with a minute and a half left. Lewis hit four straight free throws — he was 8-for-8 at the line in the fourth quarter — as the margin grew to as many as 13 points in the final seconds.

Glass hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Warren Central to make the final score a little more respectable.

“Some of that was trying to force it to the inside, where instead you get that skip pass and it’s wide open and Glass can knock it down. (Chavis) Smith can knock it down,” Robinson said of the turnovers. “I thought they should have looked for that a little bit more and allowed those bigs to rebound.”

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.

email author More by Ernest