° empty

Tensas sweeps Vidalia in season opener

Vidalia’s Zalon Parker goes up for the basket against Tensas High School’s Isaih Chase Monday night. The Panthers topped the Vikings, 84-67. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — After a 27-20 win against Tensas High School in the Concordia Jamboree Saturday, Vidalia High School head coach Robert Sanders said his team bought into that exhibition game a little too much.

After an 84-67 loss to Tensas to open the season Monday night, Sanders said he hopes his team got the message.

Despite trying to claw back from a 44-29 halftime deficit, Sanders said Tensas’ hustle proved a little too much for the Vikings.

“We came out in the second half and cut it to two on one occasion and four on another,” Sanders said. “They just had more runners. They out-rebounded us and out-hustled us.”

Three Panthers players finished the game in double-digit scoring. Andre Watkins tallied 20 points, Jayvonte Gill had 14 points and Johnny Coleman had 12 points.

Vidalia trailed 62-52 at the end of the third. The Vikings’ Julius Wilson had 18 points, while Isiah Thompson finished with 14 points. De Whitley and Deion Brown both scored 10 points.

Tensas head coach Carl Washington said he thought his young players did an excellent job running the ball down the court and executing.

Sanders said the loss should serve to motivate his players and show them not to take a win for granted.

“They came out overconfident because we beat (Tensas) in the jamboree, and they took them a little too lightly,” Sanders said.

“When they realized (Tensas was) in the ball game, it was too late. The momentum stayed Tensas’ way. I think (my players will) come out with a different outlook if we see them again.”

But Washington said the jamboree game wasn’t on the players’ minds.

“The main thing during the jamboree was for us to play everyone,” Washington said. “We weren’t really concerned with scores or anything like that.”

Tensas improved to 1-0 on the season while Vidalia fell to 0-1.

Tensas girls 65, Vidalia 32

The Tensas High School Lady Panthers picked up right where they left off last season with a strong showing on opening night against Vidalia High School.

The Lady Panthers (1-0) were runners-up in LHSAA Class 1A and showed early signs of returning a strong squad this season. Tensas led Vidalia 46-13 at intermission en route to a blowout win.

Vidalia defenders Fran Dyson and Alandra Holt prevent Tensas High School’s Precious Richards from getting to the basket Monday night during the Lady Vikings 65-32 home loss. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

“I’m glad the season’s here,” Tensas head coach Steve McClatchy said. “I’m grateful no one got hurt, but we still have a lot of kinks to work out.”

Tensas’ backups played much of the second quarter and all of the second half, and McClatchy said he was glad all of his players saw some action.

“We’ve probably got 10 that can play in a tight game, and we have 19 total,” McClatchy said. “It was good to get everyone in and get them playing time.”

Helena Hill scored 14 points for Tensas, while Cheyene South tallied nine points. Shermel Bell, who had 10 points, and Fran Duson, who scored eight, led Vidalia.

Vidalia head coach Fred Marsalis said frustration definitely sets into his players when they’re on the short end of a lopsided game, and he feels like his girls are better than what they showed.

“We’re better than this, but we didn’t come out ready,” Marsalis said. “That’s taking nothing away from (Tensas). We played better in the second half, but the first half we weren’t in the game.”

Tensas (1-0) will play at Ferriday High School today. Vidalia (0-1) will play at Jefferson County today.