Vidalia’s season endsPublished 12:45am Saturday, March 1, 2014
By Jake Martin
The Natchez Democrat
Vidalia — A slow start combined with the inability to stop Brusly High’s 6’8” post player in the paint resulted in an early Vidalia High exit in the playoffs, a 56-48 defeat at home on Friday night.
Brusly’s Travin Thibodeaux led all scorers with 22 points, with the majority of his points coming from the free throw line.
Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said the Vikings didn’t get back on defense early enough at times, but for the most part rotated well defensively to alter Thibodeaux’s shot.
“We went to more of a 3-2 matchup,” Sanders said. “Our guards helped double their big man down-low, and it worked for a little bit.”
A slow start by Vidalia guards Isiah Thompson and Julius Wilson, who scored a combined nine points in the first half, put Vidalia in a hole early.
“I knew we were going to have butterflies early,” Sanders said.
The Vikings trailed 26-17 at halftime, and Sanders was displeased with his team taking deep 3-pointers and missing timely passes by Thompson in the paint. Sanders said after the game that was what the team worked on religiously at practice.
Sanders gathered his team at halftime, corrected some miscues on defense and utilized the press for the entire third quarter. Wilson caught fire after halftime, scoring 15 of his 17 points in the second half. Vidalia created offense with steals and fast-break buckets, rallying back into the game on a 14-4 run and tying the game at 35 with four seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Brusly began the fourth on a 6-0 run, which set the tone for the remainder of the quarter. Wilson brought the Vikings within four points with 1:29 to play on a driving hook, but Vidalia was unable to muster enough offense to close the gap, getting outscored in the period 21-13.
Thompson finished the game with 14 points and Malik Jefferson contributed 8, including two big 3-point shots that kept Vidalia in the game early on.