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Vidalia wins district championship with win on Senior Night

Vidalia’s Overton Lewis shoots over Avoyelles High School’s Taylor Perite in the first half of the LHSAA District 3-3A game Tuesday. Vidalia won 90-63, winning its district championship for the first time since 2010. (Brittney Lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat)
Vidalia’s Overton Lewis shoots over Avoyelles High School’s Taylor Perite in the first half of the LHSAA District 3-3A game Tuesday. Vidalia won 90-63, winning its district championship for the first time since 2010. (Brittney Lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat)

Vidalia — The Vidalia High School Vikings won the district championship Tuesday night in a 90-63 win against Avoyelles High School on Senior Night.

This is Vidalia’s first district championship since 2010, the same year the Vikings won the Class 3A state title.

The win improved Vidalia to 9-1 in district instead of tied with Caldwell Parish High School. It also jumped them to No. 13 in the state and clinched home-court advantage when the Vikings start the playoffs next Friday.

Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said the win against Avoyelles was very important to their season.

“This game was so important because we didn’t get power ranking points for the first win (against Avoyelles), but we did get them for this win,” Sanders said. “With this we can go into the playoffs strong.”

Though it was senior night, sophomore Julius Wilson scored a game high of 32 points. Senior Isiah Thompson tallied 19 points in the win as well.

Vidalia started the game on a 6-0 run within the first minute of play when Malik Jefferson hit his first of three three-pointers at the 7:01 mark.

Avoyelles called a timeout and came out of it swinging to come back within one, 11-10, when Taylor Pierite scored on an inbounds play at the 2:15 mark.

But Vidalia ended the first quarter on a 9-2 run to go ahead 20-12 before going into the second quarter.

Avoyelles made a statement in the second quarter that they weren’t going away easily when it inched right back within one point 24-23 on Pierite’s three-pointer.

Vidalia had to call a timeout and they picked it up on defense to take an eight-point lead at halftime, 38-30.

The Vikings burst the lead open in the third quarter as they started the quarter on another 6-0 run and ended it on a similar run to take a 63-45 advantage.

Avoyelles was not able to recover from the deficit and were defeated 90-63.

Sanders said his players stepped up to the challenge of concealing a top spot in the playoffs.

“We reminded them since Friday what was on the line,” he said. “It is important to be in the top 16 and we played well.”

Vidalia will play its first round of the MHSAA Class 3A playoffs Feb. 28.