Warren Central splits with Greenville
Published 8:37 pm Friday, January 4, 2019
A week off and a new year did not slow the momentum Warren Central built up in the final days of 2018.
Jalen Glass scored a game-high 21 points, Jabari Bowman poured in 20, and the Vikings beat Greenville 71-61 in their Region 4-6A opener on Friday. It’s their fourth win in five games following a stirring run to the JPS Tournament championship game last week.
More important, coach Bruce Robinson said, was the leg up it gave the Vikings (8-9) in the Region 4-6A race. They begin the region schedule with three home games — Friday’s win over Greenville (12-6), Tuesday night against Clinton, and Provine on Jan. 15 — that they need to win to have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the region tournament in February.
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“I think it’s what we wanted to do. Our district is so evenly matched that if you want a shot at the No. 1 seed you have to win your home games. That sends the message to the other teams that you’re for real,” Robinson said. “Looking at our schedule, this is an important swing. We’ve given away several games. I think we know who we are now and we’ve just got to play Viking basketball.”
That’s exactly what they did on Friday, right from the opening tip. Glass and Bowman combined for 11 points in the first quarter as the Vikings jumped out to an 18-4 lead.
Greenville stopped the bleeding in the second quarter and played Warren Central evenly the rest of the game, but couldn’t overcome the hole it dug for itself. Morgan Green scored nine points in the second quarter and finished with 18 for the Hornets. Danny Washington led Greenville with 20 point, with 11 coming in the fourth quarter.
“We started inside-out. We got Glass going and then threw it inside to Bowman,” Robinson said.
Besides the two leading scorers, Robinson was pleased with the balanced production from the rest of his lineup. Point guard Daniel Smothers scored 10 points, P.J. Mims had eight and Chris Greene added seven.
The Vikings made 12 of 17 free throws as a team in the fourth quarter. Smothers scored seven points in the final period, including five from the free throw line.
“When Smothers runs the show at point guard he runs it pretty good, and we got off to a good start,” Robinson said. “We had one or two games where Bowman and Glass had 20, but tonight Smothers had 10 and Chris Greene had seven or eight inside. With the number of people we play, if everybody does their part then you’re going to get your opportunities to score points.”
(G) Greenville 70, Warren Central 50
Jeanee Anderson buried seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 26 points to lead Greenville (18-0, 1-0 Region 4-6A) past Warren Central (5-8, 0-1) in the Region 4-6A opener for both girls’ teams.
Anderson hit three 3-pointers and Jakayla Williams two in the third quarter as the Honeybees turned a 26-24 halftime lead into a 55-40 advantage by the end of the period. Three of the 3-pointers came during a 14-2 run that blew the game open.
Williams finished with 11 points, and Greenville hit 10 3-pointers in the game.
“They came out in the third quarter and took Aniya (Sanders) away from us, and we had too many turnovers,” Warren Central coach Darein Hilliard said. “(Anderson) hit some tough shots and we had some blown assignments. I’ve got youngsters playing roles they’re not used to, and we can show them something from that experience.”
Sanders, a junior forward and the most experienced player left in Warren Central’s lineup after a midseason roster shakeup over the holidays, scored 21 points. It was her fourth straight game with at least 20 points.
Ashlea Rainey and Zykerri Segrest added 10 points apiece, and freshman point guard Alaila Bracey scored seven.
“Alaila has some big shoes to fill, but she played well. She’s showing she can handle the position,” Hilliard said. “We’re also getting better play out of Zykerri Segrest in the post. She’s becoming more of an offensive threat. She had a good scoring game tonight.”