Lady Vikings nip Gates

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, December 29, 2012

AHOSKIE – Plymouth used an impressive fourth quarter to overtake Gates County here Friday night.

The Lady Vikings rallied from a 41-36 deficit and claimed a 51-50 victory in the Fifth Place game of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty.

The Lady Vikings got seven straight to open the fourth period. Kristy Gibson started the run with a hoop that was followed by a Janazia Dixon bucket before Gibson hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe. Dixon added two free throws to give Plymouth a 43-41 advantage.

Kalia Ballard answered with four of her game-high 27 points as she gave Gates a 45-43 edge.

Desiree Chesson, Plymouth’s leading scorer with 16 points, tied the game with a hoop only to see Ballard push the Lady Red Barons back in front.

A Dixon free throw was followed by a Chesson bucket and a free throw from Ebony Barrow as the Vikings took a 49-47 lead.

Ballard hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to close the gap to one (49-48) with 1:39 to play, but Chesson gave her team a three-point edge with a hoop moments later.

Ballard closed the Barons within one (51-50) with 29 ticks left on the clock, but it was the last score of the game as Plymouth held on for the one-point win.

In addition to the 16 from Chesson, the Vikings got 14 from Dixon, 11 from Gibson, seven from Barrow and three from Shaquisha Cooper.

Ballard’s 27 was more than 10 better than any other player, but Kierra Ballard was also in double digits for Gates with 10 points. Alaysia White (6), Jaivon Knight (5) and Jamecia Willoughby (2) rounded out the scoring for Gates County.

The game was played evenly throughout the beginning of the contest with Plymouth getting out to a 4-0 lead only to see the Barons rally to go in front 5-4.

Chesson and Barrow gave Plymouth a three-point edge late in the first period, but a hoop by White cut the deficit to one by the end of the quarter.

Gates surged ahead as the second quarter began thanks to hoops by Kaila Ballard and Willoughby. Plymouth closed the gap to one (11-10) on a Gibson bucket, but Ballard had a three-point play that sparked an 11-2 spurt that pushed Gates ahead by double digits (22-12).

The Lady Vikings rallied in the final moments of the period, however, closing the first half on an 8-0 run that closed them within two (26-24) by the time the two teams headed to the locker room.

Plymouth tied the game early in the third quarter on a pair of Chesson hoops, but Gates used a 6-0 run to pull ahead by that same margin and held the five-point lead heading into the final period.