Boys basketball roundup: Vicksburg knocks off defending state champs; PCA and WC win in blowouts

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Like a lot of boys’ basketball teams in Mississippi, Vicksburg High just wanted to tread water in November and work its returning football players back into the rotation.

The Gators are doing that, and then some.

Kameryn Bailey had a game-high 17 points, and Davian Williams and Tyler Henderson scored 10 each as the Gators beat defending MHSAA Class 6A champion Northwest Rankin 64-54 on Tuesday.

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It was Vicksburg’s seventh consecutive victory since dropping its opener against Germantown. The streak has included wins over both of last year’s Class 6A finalists, Northwest Rankin and Brandon. Both teams are now in Class 7A after the MHSAA expanded to seven classifications for the 2023-24 school year.

“I know this is a good team because during the summer we played so many varieties of teams — slow down, fast, big, small — and we had all the guys in the summer. So I knew we had the potential to be one of the better teams in the state,” Vicksburg coach Kelvin Carter said.

Carter said the addition of a half-dozen players since the end of football season in mid-November has helped a lot. The Gators had to use a number of young, inexperienced players when foul trouble decimated the lineup in the 68-62 loss to Germantown on Nov. 7.

Having the football players back has fleshed out the bench and provided depth to both weather runs and maintain momentum if fouls become an issue.

“Now we’re eight deep, nine deep, where at the start of the season with Germantown we were five deep. Three guys got in foul trouble and they erased that because they had to sit down,” Carter said. “Having those football guys is a blessing. We’re trying to get those expectations up high and play a little bit harder.”

One of the football players, Henderson, provided a huge spark against Northwest Rankin. He scored five points during a 10-2 run in the third quarter that gave the Gators the lead for good.

Jaylin Jackson added a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left iand Williams made a long one at the buzzer to put Vicksburg ahead 43-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

Northwest Rankin took advantage of some sloppiness by the Gators to make a couple of runs in the final period, but never got closer than seven points.

De’Shawn Dillon led Northwest Rankin (3-5) with 17 points and Kemauri Oscar scored 16. The Cougars lost for the fourth time in five games.

Vicksburg will play at Natchez on Thursday night at 6, and at Port Gibson Saturday at 5 p.m.

“They just refuse to lose right now and I hope we can keep it going,” Carter said of the Gators. “Teams have been making runs and we just withstand them and bounce off of them, and keep it going.”

Porter’s Chapel 91, Jackson Victors 49
Porter’s Chapel Academy used a balanced effort and a hot shooting touch to win for the second night in a row.

Noah Porter had 24 points, Ty Mack totaled 21 points and nine rebounds, and three other players scored in double figures as well as the Eagles (2-0) crushed the Jackson Victors.

PCA shot 26-for-53 (49.1 percent) from the field overall, and made 10 3-pointers as a team. It also had 11 steals, including four by Porter.

Porter and Taylor Labarre made three 3-pointers apiece. Labarre finished with 13 points, while Gavin White scored 11 and Chase Hearn had 10 points and nine rebounds.

PCA will continue a busy first week of its season Thursday, when it hosts Sharkey-Issaquena at 6 p.m.

Madison-St. Joe 72, St. Aloysius 33
St. Aloysius’ three-game boys’ basketball winning streak came to a crashing end Tuesday, with a lopsided loss to Catholic school rival Madison-St. Joseph.

Korey Simms had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Flashes (4-4), and Anthony McCloud totaled 10 points and eight rebounds.

St. Al will go on the road Friday to play Hillcrest Christian in Jackson, with the junior varsity games starting at 5 p.m.

In Tuesday’s JV game, Madison-St. Joe beat St. Al 35-25. Walt Andrews scored 11 points and Dru Gleese had nine for the Flashes, while Evan Mallard grabbed 11 rebounds.

Warren Central 72, Jim Hill 43
Gaylon Turner scored 22 points to lead three players in double figures, and Warren Central (3-5) won back-to-back games for the first time this season by blowing out Jim Hill on the road.

Jaylon Winters added 13 points for Warren Central, while Garrett Orgas totaled 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Roosevelt Harris had seven points and six assits.

Warren Central will host Murrah Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

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 140-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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