Girls basketball roundup: Missy Gators win; Warren Central, PCA, St. Al all stumble

Published 6:43 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2019

When shots refused to fall and offense was in short supply, the Vicksburg Missy Gators turned to their defense to get the job done.

Vicksburg survived a six-minute scoreless stretch in the third quarter and held Callaway to only four points in the fourth to earn a welcome 49-35 victory on Tuesday.

It was just the third win in the last 10 games for Vicksburg (11-6, 1-0 Region 4-5A), which started the season 8-0. Even better, the Missy Gators notched a region win that they couldn’t afford to let slip away.

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

“Getting a win more than anything else is really good. I don’t think we’ve been playing poorly. We’re just not scoring the basketball. Defensively, we’ve been doing well every game,” Vicksburg coach Troy Stewart said. “There was a stretch tonight where we didn’t score for at least six minutes. Defensively, we stayed in the game. So defensively we’re playing fine and offensively we’re having trouble finding baskets. The girls are doing their part. They’re getting the shots they want. Getting the win feels good. We need to keep this streak going.”

Vicksburg led 26-18 at halftime, but didn’t score in the third quarter until Yakia Burns made two free throws with 2:27 left. It didn’t make a field goal until Dajia Reed hit a contested layup and added a free throw for a three-point play with 33 seconds remaining.

The drought allowed Callaway to briefly gain the lead, but Reed came up with a steal and a fast break layup in the final seconds to send the Missy Gators into the fourth quarter with a 33-31 lead. They held Callaway scoreless for the next 3 ½ minutes to regain control, and were never seriously threatened down the stretch.

Vicksburg outscored Callaway 21-5 and only allowed two field goals over the last 11 minutes of the game.

“I was explaining to the girls that the referees were calling the game the same on both sides. The first half it worked against us because we were the aggressors and we got most of the fouls,” Stewart said. “(Callaway) didn’t make that many shots in the first half. They came back at the free throw line. There was not a real change. It was just making my girls aware that if you don’t foul they don’t get back in the game.”

Reed and Sha’Kora Knight finished with seven points apiece for the Missy Gators, and Jayla Sims scored eight. Tiarra Jones had four points and eight rebounds.

Ne’Veah Minor led Callaway (3-10, 0-1) with 10 points and Audria Jackson scored eight.

“The first half is what I want us to play like. If we get a sizable, 8-10 point lead, I believe we can hang with anybody in this state. The problem is we’ve been spotting people 20-point leads on us and having to fight back. It was a little different scenario than the last few games.”

Clinton 79, Warren Central 56
JaKayla Johnson hit five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points, and Clinton (14-5, 1-0 Region 4-6A) used a big third quarter to pull away from Warren Central (5-9, 0-2).

Johnson scored 10 points and Madelyn Webster had 11 in the third quarter as the Lady Arrows outscored WC 28-11. The surge gave them a 61-38 lead going into the final period.

Webster finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for Clinton, and Kira McBride added 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Aniya Sanders led Warren Central with 17 points, Jamiya Dunn had 15 and Alaila Bracey scored eight.

Warren Central lost its third consecutive game.

Central Hinds 56, PCA 34
Makenzie Hankins drained five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 23 points as Central Hinds beat Porter’s Chapel Academy.

Hankins hit three of her 3-pointers in the first half to help stake Central Hinds to a 38-22 lead at halftime. Kelsi Carmichael added 10 points for the Lady Cougars, and Kaley McGuffee scored eight.

Brittnee Martin led PCA with 13 points, most of them on three 3-pointers in the second quarter. Anna Grace White contributed nine points and five rebounds.

Hillcrest 50, St. Aloysius 16
Jazmyn Ellis scored 10 points, and 11 different players scored for Hillcrest Christian as it cruised past St. Aloysius. Aaliya Dixon added eight points for Hillcrest, and Julia Lindsey scored seven.

Kyla Goodlow scored six points for St. Al, which did not score more than seven in any quarter and trailed 33-6 at halftime.

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