Ferriday High School’s Jada Griggs dribbles past Vidalia’s Jaylin Smith, left, in the first half of the girls game in the Sicily Island Tournament Friday. Ferriday defeated Vidalia 55-43. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)
Ferriday High School’s Jada Griggs dribbles past Vidalia’s Jaylin Smith, left, in the first half of the girls game in the Sicily Island Tournament Friday. Ferriday defeated Vidalia 55-43. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)

Ferriday uses defense to pull away from Vidalia in tourney

Published 12:01am Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sicily Island — The Ferriday High School Lady Trojans kept their composure to pull away against Vidalia High School 55-43 in the Sicily Island High School 2013 Basketball Tournament Friday.

Ferriday wasn’t able to completely put the Lady Vikings away, though they had many opportunities to go up by 20 points, but head coach Lisa Abron said it was the result of a long Christmas break.

“We kind of ran out of gas towards the end because it’s the holidays,” she said.

Ferriday had three players in double figures with Jada Griggs recording 18 points. D’Asia Mitchell scored 13 points, while Shakeria Kelly had 11 points.

No Lady Vikings were able to score in double digits as Fran Duson and Taylor Wilson led the team with eight points each.

Ferriday got off to a strong start as the Lady Trojans led 7-2 early in the first quarter before Bre’Honor Harris hit one of two free throws for the Lady Vikings to come within four points at the two minute mark.

But Ferriday came back down after a Kelly steal that resulted in a corner three-pointer by Griggs to lead 10-3 before scoring once more off of their full-court press to lead after the first quarter, 12-3.

Vidalia, however, kicked it up a notch in the second quarter, scoring 13 points.

But it was no match for Ferriday’s 17-point quarter.

Ferriday started the quarter off with a steal off of its 1-2-1-1 full-court press that led to a Trenace Morgan lay up, but Vidalia’s Taylor Wilson responded with a lay up to make the score 14-5.

Abron said she implemented the full-court press in order to capitalize on Vidalia’s weakness.

“We knew that their guard play wasn’t as skilled, so we wanted to attack that area first with applying that press and we did that perfect, but we couldn’t generate offense from the press,” Abron said.

Griggs hit two three-pointers for the Lay Trojans in the second quarter, the first coming at the 5:20 mark from the wing as she banked it in to extend Ferriday’s lead 22-7.

Vidalia went on a 7-0 run when Kyesha Thomas scored a lay up at the 2:23 mark before Fran Duson broke away for the easy lay up on a Lady Viking steal. The run was sealed by Shermel Bell’s three-pointer from the wing with 1:45 left in the half to bring Vidalia within six points, 22-16.

Ferriday began to implement their press aggressively to prevent Vidalia from scoring again, going on its own 7-0 run to lead at the half, 29-16.

Ferriday continued its press in the second half that resulted in the first field goal of the half on a breakaway lay up by Morgan at the 6:32 mark to extend the lead 32-16.

The Lady Vikings were able to turn defense into offense as a block by Duson turned into a fast break lay up for Jaylen Smith to come within 13 points, 32-19.

Abron said she implemented the full-court press in order to capitalize on Vidalia’s weakness.

“We knew that their guard play wasn’t as skilled, so we wanted to attack that area first with applying that press and we did that perfect, but we couldn’t generate offense from the press,” Abron said.

The third quarter ended on an 8-2 run by Ferriday to get a comfortable 43-27 lead before going into the final quarter.

The Lady Vikings were able to outscore Ferriday 16-12 in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a victory as Ferriday held on to win 55-43.

Vidalia coach Fred Marsalis said they had a hard time handling Ferriday’s defense, but he said he saw some bright spots in the performance.

“We worked on passing over the press into the vacant spots, but they had taller people and it was hard to pass over it,” Marsalis said. “We did it a few times and got lay ups.”

Vidalia plays again at 2:20 p.m. today against Tensas High School, and Ferriday will follow at 3:40 p.m. against Epps High School.