Girls basketball roundup: Missy Gators, Lady Vikes scoring woes continue in losses

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Scoring a lot of points has been an issue so far this season for Vicksburg High’s girls’ basketball team.

Tuesday night, scoring any points was an even bigger problem.

The Missy Gators were held scoreless over the last 11 minutes of the game, a drought that allowed Northwest Rankin to turn a fairly competitive game into a 69-33 blowout.

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Northwest Rankin finished the game on a 27-0 run.

“We’re just in a scoring lull. My initial reaction was to slow the game down and we couldn’t do that in the third quarter. They got out and ran us too much. That was the difference in that big gap,” Vicksburg coach Troy Stewart said. “We got the shots we wanted, we just didn’t make them. I can’t fault anybody for that. We just didn’t make shots.”

Kierra James led the Missy Gators with 15 points, and Terri Boyd scored seven. Malia McCelleis scored a game-high 21 points for Northwest Rankin (4-3), Khanyla Hooten had 15 and Kennedi Smith had 12.

Vicksburg (0-7) remained winless on the season. It has only scored more than 50 points once, and Tuesday was the third game in a row it has been held under 40.

The Missy Gators have remained competitive — four of their losses were by six points or less, and they only trailed by nine when Northwest Rankin started its big run late in the third quarter — but haven’t yet been able to get over the hump and win.

Stewart said it’s just a matter of finishing on a few more possessions and grinding out some close, low-scoring games.

“We’ve been working on getting better game by game. We’ve pretty much fixed the free throw situation. My defense is not really bad, they’re just getting out in transition on us. If it’s a half-court game we’ve been doing pretty well,” Stewart said. “The next thing we have to work on is scoring inside our offensive sets. The way we’re playing now, we’re playing half-court basketball. At the end of those sets you have to score. We’re not having a lot of success doing that.”

Despite going winless in November, Stewart said he’s not discouraged about the Missy Gators’ long-term prospects. They’ll go on the road for the next two games, Thursday at 6 p.m. against Natchez and Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Port Gibson.

“We did really well this summer. I’m thinking my chemistry is a little off, or maybe it’s something I’m doing,” Stewart said. “But we’re still working. Their mindframe is still in the right place. We’re OK right now.”

Jim Hill 64, Warren Central 16
Tori Marshall scored nine of her 11 points in the second quarter, and Jameria Cavett had all nine of hers in the first as Jim Hill (5-2) raced past Warren Central (0-8) on Tuesday.

Mariah Burnett led Warren Central with six points and Shay Hodge scored four.

The Lady Vikes will be at home Thursday at 6 p.m. vs. Murrah.

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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