Warren Central set for Region 6-6A tournament
Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 4, 2023
Over the course of the season — even the course of individual games — the Warren Central Lady Vikes have been on a rollercoaster ride.
Bad halves are followed by great ones, and vice versa. A couple of nice winning streaks have been stopped by double-digit losses.
The season as a whole has been good — the Lady Vikes have a 15-9 record — but coach Arnissayur Robinson would like them to find a more even flow heading into the MHSAA Region 6-6A tournament.
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“It’s just the inconsistency that I don’t like,” Robinson said. “One game we look like an all-star team, and then you get another game and we look like a peewee team. It’s like a heart monitor, it’s so up and down. I don’t think we’re growing consistently.”
The Lady Vikes were consistent enough to earn the No. 2 seed for the Region 6-6A tournament, which begins Monday at Northwest Rankin. Warren Central will face No. 3 seed Terry (7-17) in the first round Monday at 6 p.m.
The top three teams in the region tournament advance to the Class 6A state tournament, so the winner of Monday’s game is guaranteed to advance.
Warren Central won both regular-season meetings against Terry, but is limping into the postseason with back-to-back losses to region champions. It fell 65-51 to Northwest Rankin on Tuesday, and 66-49 to Callaway on Thursday.
Robinson is hoping the Lady Vikes can regain their momentum over the weekend. All of the teams in Region 6-6A have been competitive with each other in their head-to-head meetings, so advancing or being eliminated will mostly come down to execution.
“On any given night anybody can take it. It’s preparation, but I think it’s also who wants it,” Robinson said. “You can prepare and you can drill them. It’s all about when that jump ball goes up, who really wants it.”
On the boys’ side, Warren Central (10-11) will also play Terry (18-6) in the first round of the region tournament, Monday at 7:30 p.m.
The Vikings are playing some of their best basketball coming down the stretch. They’ve won three of their last four games, including a 63-59 win over Terry on Jan. 27 and a 63-61 victory on the road at Callaway on Thursday.
The one loss in that stretch came on Jan. 31, 60-57 against a Northwest Rankin team that will be the No. 1 seed for the region tournament. Northwest Rankin also beat Warren Central by 30 points two weeks prior.
“You learn a lot from losing, and I’m trying to get them to understand that. We’ll bounce back,” Warren Central coach Keith Williams said after the loss to Northwest Rankin. “I like the direction we’re going. The culture is beginning to change, because they hate to lose now and people are beginning to notice that we’re not going to be a pushover any more.”
Also encouraging was the Vikings’ win against Terry on Jan. 27. It was the second close game between them — Terry won 50-43 on Jan. 13 — so getting that win was an extra shot of confidence as the final phase of the season dawns.
“They know they can beat them. They knew that from the first time we played them,” Williams said. “Monday we’re on a neutral court and we’re just going to play basketball, and however the ball bounces we expect to win. We’re not going to back down from anybody.”
MHSAA Region 6-6A Tournament
At Northwest Rankin
Monday, Feb. 6
6 p.m. – Warren Central vs. Terry (Girls)
7:30 p.m. – Warren Central vs. Terry (Boys)
Tuesday, Feb. 7
6 p.m. – Northwest Rankin vs. Pearl (Girls)
7:30 p.m. – Northwest Rankin vs. Pearl (Boys)
Friday, Feb. 10
4 p.m. – Girls consolation game
5:30 p.m. – Boys consolation game
7 p.m. – Girls championship game
8:30 p.m. – Boys championship game
Tickets for all tournament games are available online through GoFan.co