Vidalia nips Natchez in overtime

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 1999

Vidalia High senior Dariel Mays caught a lot of key passes during the football season. The basketball pass he caught Thursday was just as big.

With three seconds remaining in overtime, Mays caught a pass from Jarvius Vaughn underneath the Viking basket and converted it into the winning basket as Vidalia defeated Natchez 63-61 in the first game of the Natchez High Hoops Classic.

&uot;I saw where No. 10 (Edwin Harris) was easing over so I cut to the goal,&uot; Mays said. &uot;I knew Jarvis was going to go to the goal and he just dished it off to me. I knew if I made it they wouldn’t have time to get back down the court.&uot;

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Vaughn said the only thing on his mind was winning the game.

&uot;I saw Dariel all the way, he was waving his hands,&uot; Vaughn said. &uot;He was wide open. I knew if he made it, it was all over.&uot;

The contest was tied 56-56 at the end of regulation. The margin was never more than three points for the final seven minutes.

Natchez led 46-41 early in the period after a 3-point shot by Jamal Bouldin.

But three straight baskets by Derrick&160;Johnson, Andre Singleton and A.J. Warner and a free throw by Johnson put the Vikings up 48-46 with 4:30 remaining.

David Haywood tied the game at 48-48 with 3:50 left. Mays then missed two free throws, but came back with a basket to put the Vikings up 50-48.

Haywood responded with a 3-point shot that put Natchez up 51-50 with 1:29 showing.

Vaughn then hit a bucket and Mays came back with two free throws to put the Vikings up 54-51 with 30 seconds left.

&uot;Their cheerleaders were bothering me on the free throws I missed because I know them,&uot; Mays said. &uot;I wanted to show them I could make it when I got back up there.&uot;

Jovon Edwards then nailed a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left to tie th game at 54-54.

Vaughn then nailed a short jumper from the left side to put Vidalia up 56-54 with 10 seconds left.

Edwards then rebounded a Demetrius Minor miss and put it in at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

A basket and 3-pointer by Haywood put Natchez up 61-56 early in the four-minute OT period, but Natchez would not score another point.

Ronald Ellis hit one of two free throws, Vaughn nailed a jumper and Mays hit two free throws before his final shot of the game.

Natchez led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter and 28-27 at halftime as both teams struggled from the field.

The Bulldogs hit 12 of 28 field goals and had 10 turnovers in the first half.

Vidalia made 9 of 28 field goals and had eight turnovers.

The Bulldogs led 43-41 after three quarters of play.

Vaughn led Vidalia with 17 points. Ellis and Mays added 12 points each.

Haywood paced Natchez with 16 points. Bouldin added 13 points, while Carl Minor added 11.

Action continues today at 4 p.m. with Ferriday facing Vidalia’s girls, followed by Ferriday versus Vidalia boys.

Natchez and Jefferson County meet in a girls and boys game beginning at 7 p.m.