Vidalia’s Julius Wilson takes the ball to the hoop against Marksville’s Zondre Lockwood Tuesday night during the Vikings 57-38 home win. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

Vikings take over final 10 minutes, top Marksville 57-38

Published 12:01am Wednesday, January 23, 2013

VIDALIA — The final 10 minutes of the basketball game between Vidalia High School and Marksville High School belonged to the Vikings Tuesday night.

Vidalia trailed 34-30 late in the third period but suffocated the Tigers defensively, forced turnovers and made some key three pointers to end the game on a 27-4 run and pick up a big district win, 57-38.

“They were the only undefeated team in the district, and they have a good overall record that will help our power points,” Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said. “It should be a big boost for us.”

Isiah Thompson found the range from behind the arc during the big Vidalia run. He made his final four three-point attempts, including one in the final seconds of the third period, to end up with 22 points.

Julius Wilson scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter before landing hard on his lower back after a foul from a Marksville player cut his legs out from under him.

Wilson and Thompson scored 27 of Vidalia’s 33 second-half points to lead the surge.

But the Vikings did most of their damage on the defensive end, Sanders said.

“We switched our defense on them,” he said. “We stayed in zone, but we made sure to cover their shooters and that allowed us to help block out on rebounds.”

Marksville had a clear height advantage, but the Vikings negated that with aggressive, high-energy defense for four quarters.

The speed of the game got to the Vikings some in the first half, but Sanders said his team settled down and played patient offense in the final minutes to pull away from the Tigers.

Patience led to some big shots that ended up going through the net, he said.

“(The three pointers) helped a lot for their morale,” Sanders said. “Sometimes it will shoot us out of the game when we are missing them.”

Vidalia trailed 26-24 at halftime but took the lead in the third quarter. The Vikings then outscored Marksville 18-2 in the final period.

Vidalia (6-15, 3-2) will travel to face Caldwell Parish Friday.

Marksville girls 69, Vidalia 42

The Marksville High School girls’ basketball team used a relentless full-court press to exhaust Vidalia Tuesday night.

Marksville’s depth allowed it to press the entire game without much fatigue, while the short-handed Lady Vikings were forced to try to keep up, Vidalia head coach Fred Marsalis said.

“I was proud of our kids for hustling,” Marsalis said. “They just had a big advantage with the numbers they have versus the numbers we have.”

Fran Duson led Vidalia with 10 points. Shermel Bell added nine points, and Taylor Tennessee and Alandra Holt each scored eight.

Marksville doubled up Vidalia in the first half and led 34-17 at the break. Vidalia did better offensively in the second half, but it was not enough to pull within striking distance.

The Lady Vikings (3-16, 0-5) will face Caldwell Parish Friday.