Gators steamroll their way to holiday tournament championship

Published 8:10 pm Friday, December 30, 2022

The Vicksburg Gators got what they came for on their post-Christmas road trip to Tennessee — a trophy and a great finish to the first half of the schedule.

Michael Johnson and Tyler Henderson combined for 32 points, and the Gators pulled away from Loretto in the second half to win 66-36 in the boys’ championship game of the LA Realty Holiday Basketball Tournament on Friday.

Vicksburg (16-2) won its three games in the tournament in Milan, Tennessee by 35, 19 and 30 points. Vicksburg was the only Mississippi team among the eight in the tournament.

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Johnson, a freshman, led the way in the championship game. He scored 10 of his game-high 17 points in the second half and made three 3-pointers. He also had five rebounds.

Henderson added 15 points and Davian Williams scored 10 to go along with four assists. Kealon Bass and DeCorey Knight Jr. finished with nine points each.

Kasen Buie led Loretto with 17 points and Mason Tidwell scored 12.

The Gators only led by eight points at halftime, but steadily pulled away in the second half. Knight had seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter, when the Gators outscored Loretto 24-9 to put the hammer down and turn the game into a rout.

The Gators will return to action Tuesday, when they begin their Region 3-5A schedule on the road in Jackson against Callaway. The girls-boys doubleheader will start at 6 p.m.