Missy Gators top Ridgeland for big division victory

Published 11:27 pm Friday, January 26, 2018

By Cody Thomason
The Vicksburg Post

When the Vicksburg Missy Gators took on Ridgeland on Monday, things couldn’t have gone much worse. They lost by 39 points for their fifth defeat in seven games.

They’ve bounced back since then.

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 Missy Gators beat Germantown the next night, and then knocked off Ridgeland in a rematch on Friday, 43-40. Yakia Burns hit a layup with 11 seconds left to give Vicksburg a three-point lead, and then Ridgeland missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds.

“Overall, I was ecstatic because that’s the same team that beat us 30 Monday,” VHS coach Troy Stewart said. “We game-planned a little different and played a different style tonight and it worked for us. I’m glad we were able to finish this game, Ridgeland is an extremely good team in our district, for us to come in with that, it gives us confidence going into the district tournament. That’s what we’re going to need.”

Vicksburg took a 20-14 lead going into the half and was on fire coming out of the break, splashing three straight threes. Ridgeland found its footing in the rest of the game and fought back, and with just 25 seconds left, the score was 41-40. Ridgeland had a few shots to take the lead, but the Missy Gators locked down on defense. With 11 seconds left Burns, who finished with six points, scooped up a loose ball and hit a layup to put Vicksburg up three.

“At the end of the game, I’m wondering if my youth is going to hurt me,” Stewart said of the close finish. “I found out that we are a resilient team. They fought through the end. So I was happy with the results, not just because we won, but because of the way we held onto the ball. We took care of it at the very end, even through the bad stuff. We did pretty good.”

Tiarra Jones finished with seven points and nine rebounds, and Pleasure King added seven points as well for Vicksburg (11-9, 2-2 Division 4-5A). For Ridgeland (15-5, 2-2), Skylor Craft finished with 15 points.

(B) Ridgeland 70, Vicksburg 63

Coming off impressive division victories against Ridgeland and Germantown, the Vicksburg boys basketball team faced Ridgeland once again but fell just short of a third win in a row.
Ridgeland jumped out to a 21-12 lead in the first quarter.

With some quality 3-point looks and timely free throws, the Gators were able to fight back and make the score 48-47 with 2:51 left in the third quarter. From there, Ridgeland went on a few scoring runs and never let the Gators get closer than six points.

“The mental lapses keep haunting us in the fourth quarter, then the first quarter we just gave up too many points,” Carter said.

Vicksburg junior forward Jaymeson Norfort finished with 10 blocks, including a few emphatic denials that knocked the ball out of play.

“Norfort is playing out of his head, and we just have to get somebody to come play with him,” Carter said. “There’s a lot of standing around, just mental lapses. I guess they feel he’s going to get the block and the rebound, but that’s hard. He’s playing out of his mind. He’s been playing like that for five games straight. We just have to get some guys to go get them, to settle down and just play Gator basketball.”

Norfort had averaged eight blocks in the Gators’ last three games before his impressive showing Friday.

“When he protects the rim like that, we have to come up with the ball,” Carter said. “He’s keeping the ball in play most of the time, we’re just not coming up with the loose ball.”

Ridgeland’s leading scorer was Jeff Blackmon, who finished with 19 points. Vicksburg’s Jermiyah Brown had 17 points and five 3-pointers in just his third game back from a high ankle sprain he suffered in December.

(B) Warren Central 52, Provine 48

DeArius Henyard scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the first half and Warren Central defeated Provine for a key Division 4-6A victory.

Warren Central squandered an eight-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but rallied at the end. Henyard hit four free throws in the final minute after Provine (7-7, 1-2 Division 4-6A) had tied it at 48. Provine missed two shots and had a crucial turnover on its last three possessions.

Chavis Smith added 10 points for the Vikings (16-4, 3-0 Division 4-6A) and Jalen Glass scored seven.

(G) Warren Central 75, Provine 36

Amber Gaston scored a career-high 29 points to lead Warren Central (17-5, 3-0 Division 3-6A) to a rout of Provine (5-13, 0-3).

Chae White added 10 points, Dominique Caldwell had nine and Cocoa Fultz eight for the Lady Vikes.