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Cleveland Wolves take down Vicksburg Gators, 34-24

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Story and photo by Keith Phillips for the Vicksburg Daily News

A big district game between the Vicksburg High School Gators and and the Cleveland Central High School Wolves last night resulted in another Vicksburg High loss.

Big plays and hard hits ruled the game from the beginning to the very last drive. The Gators put in hard work on Thursday night but still fell short of a win.

By the middle of the second quarter, Vicksburg was down 14-10 with 6:19 left in the first half. The Gators were stopped and forced to punt on their next drive, which was blocked by Cleveland and recovered on Vicksburg’s 30- yard line. The Wolves came out ready to play on offense with a quick option to the right for a gain of 20 yards to the Gators 10-yard line.

A quick handoff to the right would give Cleveland another touchdown with 3:57 to go in the half.

The gators showed that they were ready for a fight with three back-to-back first downs. Cedric Phillips ran the next play for a tough eight-yard gain followed by a quarterback keep, which put the Gators in the end zone only trailing by four points, 21-17 at the end of the first half.

Cedric Phillips evades a defender. (Photo by Larry Walker).

The Wolves came out hot in the second quarter with a big 30-yard gain followed by a 12-yard touchdown pass ending the first half with a score of 21-17.

As the clock ran down in the third quarter, the Gators trailed 28-17 forcing Vicksburg to step up. On the following drive the Gators were unable to stop the Wolves and gave up another touchdown putting the game at 34-17.

The Gators were able to squeeze in one more touchdown, which ended the game with a score of 34-24 and a loss.

Next week the Gators (1-6) host Ridgeland High School Titans (5-1) as the Gators continue to search for their first district win.

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Jabari Bowman: VDN male basketball Player of the Year

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Jabari Bowman (photo via Facebook)

Averaging 17.3 points per game, Warren Central’s Jabari Bowman is the Vicksburg Daily News male basketball Player of the Year.

Bowman has played power forward and center on the Viking’s varsity team for the last three seasons. This is the second season where Bowman has led the Vikings in points. He put up 13.2 points per game last year as a junior.

He also leads the Vikings in rebounds, averaging nearly eight per game, and is responsible for 13 blocked shots against his opponents.

Bowman has continuously worked hard to accomplish a goal like this one that acknowledges he is the best player in the city.

“I would like to thank God, my family, my coaches and trainers for making me the player I am today,” Bowman said, “and I would also like to thank Vicksburg Daily News for choosing me for Player of the Year.”

During his 2017-2018 sophomore season, Bowman helped the Vikings to a 22-7 record under head coach Bruce Robinson. Bowman’s senior season came to an end on Feb. 14, with a 77-66 loss to Clinton.

Although his high school basketball career is over, Bowman will continue to do great on the court at the college level. He has announced that he will play basketball at Jones Community College next season.

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Hinds advances to MACJC State Semifinals with a win over Northwest

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Dontrell McQuarter in action against the Northwest Community College Rangers (photo by Tracey Dundan, Hinds CC)

For the first time in over a decade, a Hinds Community College Bulldog basketball team has won a playoff game.

The last time that the Bulldogs were in the MACJC State playoffs was in 2012, where they were defeated by Holmes Community College 73-64 in the opening round.

Fast forward to 2020, the No. 2 seeded Hinds Bulldogs, led by sophomores Dontrell McQuarter and Ladarius Marshall, dominated both sides of the ball as they defeated the No. 3 seeded Northwest Community College Rangers 81-55 in the first round of the MACJC State Playoffs.

McQuarter opened the game with a basket to give Hinds a 2-0 lead. Hinds would never relinquish their lead for the remainder of the game.

By the end of the first half, the Bulldogs had a commanding 20-point lead (42-22).

In the second half, the Bulldogs went on to increase their lead by as much as 27-points, which they reached with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

By the time of the final buzzer, Hinds had secured their spot in the semifinals with an 81-55 opening-round victory.

Much of Hinds success tonight stemmed from their defense. The Bulldogs held the Rangers to just 55 total points on just 29.9% shooting from the field.

“Defensively, we were on another level tonight,” said third-year head coach Yusef Fitzgerald. “That is a testament to the hard work we put in at practice on a daily basis.”

On offense, the Bulldogs shot a stellar 53% from the field. McQuarter led all scorers with 25 points while Marshall racked up 20 points of his own.

With the win, Hinds improved their overall season record to 15-7 and advanced to the MACJC State Semifinals.

“I’m proud of the way we competed tonight. We put some adversity on ourselves, fought through it with a next-man-up mentality, and were able to get a playoff win,” Fitzgerald said. “Now our only focus is the game on Wednesday.”

Hinds will play the No. 1 seeded Northeast Mississippi Community College (23-1) Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Scooba on the campus of East Mississippi Community College.

If the Bulldogs win Wednesday, they would solidify a spot in the MACJC State Playoff Championship game on Thursday, Feb. 27.

A Hinds team hasn’t been to the MACJC State Playoff Championship game since 2003, and the Bulldogs haven’t won a MACJC State Championship since 1990.

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VHS basketball player Cameron Butler to sign with Co-Lin

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Cameron Butler takes a shot. (photo by Cedric Tillman)

Vicksburg High School basketball player Cameron Butler announced Monday his intention to sign with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Butler thanked his family, friends, coaches and trainers for their support in helping him reach his goal.

Butler was the lead scorer for the Gators this season putting up 14.6 points per game and leading them to a 20-10 record under head coach Kelvin Carter. One of Butler’s biggest games this season is when he dropped 29 points in an 85-50 victory against Grenada.

The Gators just finished their season Saturday in a 69-60 loss to Center Hill where Butler scored nine points.

Co-Lin is currently 7-16 which means Butler will be stepping into a rebuilding program, but he has shown he is ready for the next level as he excelled as a Gator.

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