Huge fourth-quarter surge sends Vicksburg past Warren Central

Published 8:37 pm Saturday, November 12, 2022

Malik Franklin let a 3-pointer fly from the top of the arc, watched it splash through the net, and then broke into a big grin as he backpedaled to get back on defense.

A few moments earlier, Franklin and his Vicksburg High teammates had been trying to hold off a charge from archrival Warren Central. Now, though, it was time to smile and relax, and enjoy the kind of run that doesn’t come around very often.

Franklin and Davian Williams combined for six 3-pointers and 28 points during a dominant fourth quarter, and the Gators beat Warren Central 81-56 in the boys’ half of Saturday’s basketball doubleheader.

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Vicksburg (4-0) trailed by one point entering the fourth quarter, then outscored Warren Central 35-9 over the last eight minutes.

“(Williams) turned us up. Once he gets going, the whole team gets going. When me and him are hitting 3s, it’s going to be a long game for somebody,” Franklin said. “(VHS coach Kelvin Carter) didn’t tell us to stop shooting, so we kept shooting.”

Franklin finished with 26 points and Williams scored 27, with about half of those coming in the fourth quarter. Kealon Bass added 14 points and Jaylin Jackson had 10.

Lazaveon Sylvester led Warren Central (2-2) with 16 points. Padre Gray scored 15, Gaylon Turner had 12 and Jonathan Henderson 11.

The Vikings trailed by 15 points late in the first quarter, but came all the way back to take a 47-45 lead on a basket by Deonta Segrest with about a minute left in the third. They led 47-46 going into the fourth quarter.

“Coming out of halftime we felt good about it. Going into the fourth quarter we felt good about it. It just got away from us,” Warren Central coach Keith Williams said.

It not only got away, it got away in a hurry.

Franklin made two 3-pointers in the first minute of the fourth quarter to key an 8-0 run that put Vicksburg back in front to stay.

Turner answered with a 3-pointer for Warren Central to cut it to 54-50, but it only stopped the bleeding for a few seconds. Davian Williams drained two more quick baskets, followed by a pair of 3-pointers by Franklin, to push Vicksburg’s lead to 72-52 with 3:20 remaining. The Gators cruised home from there.

In all, Franklin made four 3-pointers and scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. Davian Williams only made two treys, but also scored 14 points. Jackson also chipped in a 3-pointer.

Davian Williams also made three 3-pointers in the first quarter.

“It happens, but it never happened like that in the fourth quarter. It usually happens in the middle or beginning of the game,” Williams said of the Gators’ hot streak.

From Warren Central’s perspective, the game was a mix of good and bad. It fell behind big early, rallied to have a chance, and then had the worst fourth quarter imaginable.

“We just fell apart,” Keith Williams said. “The fourth quarter has normally been our best quarter this season, but I am really clueless on it. You can’t take nothing away from them. They shoot the ball extremely well.”

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 139-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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