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Big men lead Vikings over Trojans

VIDALIA — The Vidalia Vikings might have lost many key pieces to the team that won the LHSAA Class 3A state championship last season.

But they still have some talented players on their roster, which is something the Ferriday Trojans found out first hand on Friday night.

Vidalia had five players score in double figures as the Vikings easily defeated the Trojans 84-63.

“It’s a slow process (building back after last season),” Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said. “We’re smaller than we were last year and the front line doesn’t have as much depth. We’ve had to fight for every win we’ve gotten this year.”

While the Vikings might not have much depth down low, their two starters certainly know how to make an impact.

D.J. Polk scored 22 points despite battling foul trouble in the second half while fellow big man Alvin Bell scored 16 to lead the Vikings to victory.

Ferriday had no match for them inside, as Polk and Bell often out-jumped the smaller Trojans for rebounds and putbacks.

“Hopefully (their good play) will continue,” Sanders said of Polk and Bell. “They are a big key to the success of this team.”

In addition to Polk and Bell’s combined 38 points, Vidalia was led by Jamon Duson with 15 points, Brandon Bauchman with 13 and Terence Thompson chipped in with 10.

Ferriday was led by Ted’Rai Gullage, who topped all players with 27 points. Markell Bell also tallied 11 points for the Trojans in the losing effort.

Vidalia led from the opening tap, as they scored four points within the first 10 seconds of the game thanks to a quick basket, a steal and another quick layup.

It was a foreshadowing of things to come for the Trojans.

Vidalia led 19-11 at the end of the first quarter and expanded the lead to 39-24 at halftime.

Ferriday would score the first basket of the second half, but Vidalia would then rip off a 22-3 run to extend their lead to 61-29 with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Ferriday didn’t quit, and went to a pressing, trapping defense in the fourth quarter to try and come back.

The Trojans did get as close as 14 points in the fourth quarter at 73-59 with 2:30 left, but Vidalia steadied itself in the final minutes and pulled away for the final 21-point margin.

“I was impressed by our overall performance,” Sanders said. “There were times when we subbed and they cut into the lead, but when we put the starters back in, we were able to build the lead back up.”

Vidalia improved to 4-5 on the season and will play at Ferriday next Thursday.