Missy Gators cruise into Region 4-5A championship game

Published 8:29 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

The Vicksburg Missy Gators had no trouble punching their ticket to the state tournament.

Ja’Na Colenburg made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points to lead a balanced effort as the Missy Gators hammered Callaway 68-33 in the semifinals of the MHSAA Region 4-5A girls’ basketball tournament on Tuesday.

The Missy Gators (19-7) advanced to the region tournament championship game for the fifth season in a row, and seventh time in nine years. They’ve won the last two.

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They’ll play the winner of Wednesday’s Jim Hill vs. Forest Hill game Friday at 6 p.m., at Jim Hill High School in Jackson. Callaway (11-15) will play the Jim Hill-Forest Hill loser in the consolation game Thursday at 6 p.m.

The top three teams advance to the MHSAA Class 5A state tournament, so Tuesday’s victory clinched Vicksburg’s spot there as well. Vicksburg will host a first-round game on Feb. 14 if it loses Friday, or on Feb. 18 if it wins the region championship for the third year in a row.

Colenburg just missed a double-double, finishing with nine rebounds to go along with her team-high point total. Six Vicksburg players scored at least seven points, with Colenburg, Kierra James and Destini Sims finishing in double figures.

James scored 13 points and Sims had 12, to go along with four steals. Janiah Caples and Layla Carter scored eight points apiece, and Kalia Bland had eight. Carter also had 12 rebounds and six assists.

As a team, Vicksburg had 17 steals.

Vicksburg’s boys’ team will play Callaway Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in a semifinal game.