Missy Gators bow out with loss to Neshoba

Published 10:50 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

The Vicksburg Missy Gators’ turnaround season ended on Friday night, with a 52-38 loss to Neshoba Central in the second round of the MHSAA Class 5A girls basketball state tournament.

The Missy Gators matched their lowest point total of the season. They trailed 26-14 at halftime and were never able to mount a big enough run to make a push at the defending Class 5A champions.

Ke’Mari Smith led Vicksburg with 14 points and seven steals. Tiarra Jones grabbed nine rebounds and scored four points, while Sha’Kora Knight and Pleasure King scored five points apiece.

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Taylor Ben led Neshoba Central (15-13) with 24 points. The Lady Rockets advanced to play Hattiesburg in the Class 5A quarterfinals on March 2 at 9 a.m. at Jackson State.

Hattiesburg beat Laurel 68-49 in another second-round game on Friday.

The loss ended the best season in nearly a decade for the Missy Gators. They finished with a 15-14 record, their first winning mark since the 2009-10 season. It was also an 11-game improvement over last year’s 4-21 campaign.

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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