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Vidalia scores 99 points against Buckeye

Vidalia’s Deion Brown jumps to tip the ball to teammate Isiah Thompson at the start of Vidalia’s game against Buckeye High School Thursday evening. Vidalia defeated Buckeye 99-27. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)
Vidalia’s Deion Brown jumps to tip the ball to teammate Isiah Thompson at the start of Vidalia’s game against Buckeye High School Thursday evening. Vidalia defeated Buckeye 99-27. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)

Vidalia — Vidalia High School head coach Robert Sanders just wanted to get his players back in the groove of things after missing a week of basketball because of the snowstorm, but his players were a little more ready than he anticipated.

The Vikings came out and devastated the Buckeye High School Panthers 99-27 to remain undefeated in district (15-8, 4-0).

Sanders was aware that his players were going against an inexperienced team filled with freshmen and eighth graders, as he planned to utilize all of his players and sit back in a half-court defense. But it didn’t make a difference, his players were ready to take things up a notch.

“It turned out worse for (Buckeye) than I expected it to,” Sanders said. “I didn’t play full court, because I knew we would get turnovers that way, but half court wasn’t much better.

“I tried to pulling the reins on them a little bit, but the kids haven’t played a game for awhile and they wanted to show what they could do.”

Nearly every player on the Viking roster scored as Isiah Thompson led with a game high of 28 points. Desmond Bindon followed with 12 points as 12 other players contributed to the blowout as well.

The Vikings came out in a 1-2-2 half court zone defense to start the game, and the defensive pressure of J.T. Townsend at the top of the zone was enough to cause early problems for Buckeye.

Buckeye stayed in the game for the first four minutes as Garrett hit a long jumper at the 6:48 mark to inch within two points, 4-2.

But Deion Brown’s corner three-pointer plus the foul gave the Vikings momentum as the four-point play put Vidalia ahead 10-2, and there was no looking back.

The first quarter ended 22-6 before the Vikings busted the gap open in the second quarter with Thompson’s performance.

The senior scored four consecutive lay ups off steals in a two-minute window that put the Vikings ahead 41-9 at the 3:20 mark before going into halftime ahead by 33 points.

The domination continued in the second half for Vidalia, but this time, by players like Dalvin Brown and Bindon who took over the game for Vidalia.

Sanders said he was glad to get every player involved in the second half for two reasons.

“On one hand, it gave (the starters) a chance to rest (as they have to play again tomorrow), and the other hand, it gave (everyone) a chance to get their legs back under them,” he said.

The Vikings outscored Buckeye 25-4 in the third quarter and 29-11 in the final quarter.

The Viking fans were anticipating hitting the 100-point mark when Garrett Henson stepped to the free-throw line with less than 30 seconds left.

Though he missed both free throws that could have put the Vikings in triple digits, Sanders said he was secretly happy that Henson missed the shots.

“I really didn’t want them to (get 100 points),” he said. “So I was really glad he missed those two free throws.”

Vidalia plays again at 7:30 p.m. today against Caldwell Parish High School in another district matchup.

Buckeye girls 64, Vidalia girls 45

The Vidalia Lady Vikings lost its first quarter lead against Buckeye Thursday night and was not able to recover as they fell to the Lady Panthers 64-45.

Bre’Honor Harris led Vidalia with 15 points while Taylor Tennessee tallied nine points.

But the Lady Vikings had no answer for Kealee Anderson and Sydney Serrin who scored 17 points a piece for Buckeye.

Vidalia went ahead 13-11 after one, but foul trouble which resulted in seven Buckeye free throws put the Lady Panthers ahead 30-25 at halftime.

Buckeye distanced itself from Vidalia as it outscored the Lady Vikings 23-12 in the third quarter and 10-8 in the fourth on Anderson’s nine-point second-half performance to take the win.

The Lady Vikings play against Caldwell Parish at 6 p.m. today.