Terry nips Lady Vikes in Region 6-6A tournament
Published 8:30 am Tuesday, February 7, 2023
FLOWOOD — The Warren Central Lady Vikes missed two shots and two free throws that could have tied or potentially won their game against Terry on Monday.
The cold spell that really doomed them, however, came much earlier than that.
The Lady Vikes only scored five points in the first quarter, fell behind by 10, and had to play catch-up all night. By the time they were finally in position to grit out a win, the final slump put the nail in the coffin on a 44-42 loss to Terry in the first round of the MHSAA Region 6-6A girls’ basketball tournament.
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“I think the start is what threw us off. We start different and we’re not in that situation,” Warren Central coach Arnissayur Robinson said. “We got down early and put yourself in a hole. You might make it a good game for people in the stands, but it’s a horrible game for you. You’ve got to start better than that if you want to give yourself a chance to win.”
Terry (9-17) advanced to the championship game Friday at 7 p.m. vs. the winner between Northwest Rankin (18-10) and Pearl (4-16), who play Tuesday night.
Warren Central (15-10) will face the Northwest Rankin-Pearl loser in the consolation game Friday at 4 p.m. The consolation game also serves as an elimination game, with the loser’s season ending and the winner advancing to the Class 6A state tournament.
Warren Central has lost three consecutive games. It’s the first time all season it has lost more than two in a row.
“This is not the time where you don’t want to be clicking. You’ve got to click now,” Robinson said. “We’re just going to stay conscious, not so much of X’s and O’s, but do we want it or not? At this point the teaching, that’s out the window. Are we disciplined enough to get what we desire? And if not, then we must not desire it enough.”
Warren Central beat Terry twice in the regular season, but struggled mightily in the first half of Monday’s tournament opener. A number of missed 3-pointers in the first half had them playing from behind the whole way.
Terry’s Taylor Domino scored 11 of her team-high 13 points in the first quarter and the Lady Bulldogs led 26-21 at halftime.
“Not getting to the paint,” Robinson said of the first-half struggles. “We had a few of them trying to go, but we settled. We encourage the 3, but we encourage going by your man as well. We just settled. It’s the easiest thing to do and we did it.”
The Lady Vikes started working the ball inside in the second half and finally got on track. They took their first lead, 35-34, on two free throws by Jae’la Smith with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
The teams then went back-and-forth until Terry gained the upper hand in the last two minutes. With the game tied at 42, the Lady Vikes missed a shot, got an offensive rebound, and then missed another shot over a span of 90 seconds.
Terry’s Toniah Watts split a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left for a 43-42 lead.
Warren Central had another chance to go in front, but Ta’Miya Sims missed two free throws with 16.9 seconds remaining. Watts split another pair of free throws with 7.9 seconds left to make it 44-42, and a 60-foot heave by WC’s Zion Harvey at the buzzer was well short.
Harvey led Warren Central with a game-high 18 points. Jae’la Smith scored 10 and Sims finished with seven.
Warren Central has come from behind to win several times this season, but Robinson said the odds were bound to catch up to them eventually.
“We don’t come out of it enough to consider ourselves a comeback team. We’re not that team. We’ve done it a couple of times, but we haven’t done it enough,” Robinson said. “We have way more losses than wins when we put ourselves in that situation.”
MHSAA Region 6-6A Tournament
At Northwest Rankin
Monday, Feb. 6
Terry 44, Warren Central 42 (Girls)
Terry 64, Warren Central 46 (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. – Warren Central vs. NW Rankin-Pearl loser (Girls consolation)
5:30 p.m. – Warren Central vs. NW Rankin-Pearl loser (Boys consolation)
7 p.m. – Terry vs. NW Rankin-Pearl winner (Girls championship)
8:30 p.m. – Terry vs. NW Rankin-Pearl winner (Boys championship)
Tickets for all tournament games are available online through GoFan.co