Vikings lose playoff game in overtime

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — Coushatta High’s Anthony Smith sank two free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining to give the Choctaws a 71-69 win over Vidalia in overtime in a Class 2A&160;bi-district playoff game. The win advanced the defending state champions to the regionals, while Vidalia ends its season at 28-4.

&uot;I have to take my hat off to Vidalia,&uot; said Coushatta head coach Keith Johnson. &uot;They were ready. We watched them twice on film they played McCall, but they are better in person.&uot;

The contest stayed close throughout, with Coushatta’s biggest lead being 20-13 at the end of the first quarter, while Vidalia’s biggest lead was 35-30 at halftime and 51-46 late in the third period.

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Vidalia led 10-8 early, but Coushatta outscored the Vikings 12-3 for a 7-point first quarter lead.

Consecutive baskets by Johnson, Andre Singleton, Ronald Ellis and Jarvis Vaughn gave Vidalia a 21-20 advantage with 5:32 remaining. Two baskets by Ellis late helped Vidalia to a 31-28 lead, but the Viking senior picked up his third foul with 1:23 remaining.

A basket by A.J. Warner with 1:08 remaining gave Vidalia its five-point halftime advantage.

The lead changed hands three times in the third quarter. Coushatta’s Delvin Lewis hit two free throws with .5 second remaining to give the Choctaws a 52-51 lead.

Vaughn picked up his third foul with 1:25 remaining in the third, while Warner had four fouls with 53.7 left.

Coushatta milked a minute off the clock to start the fourth quarter passing the ball around the perimeter.

&uot;We were trying to open up the inside and get 33 (Ellis) to foul, but Vidalia kept denying us,&uot; Johnson said.

Two consecutive baskets by Vaughn put Vidalia up 57-54, but with 2:56 remaining Ellis fouled out.

Vidalia’s Dariel Mays drove down an open lane to put Vidalia up 59-58 with 2:42 to play.

Eric Baker of Coushatta hit two free throws to put the Choctaws up 60-59 with 1:40 left.

Vidalia had two shots under the basket rim out and Russell hit a free throw to put Coushatta up 61-59 with 1:19 remaining. Vaughn tied the game with a rebound basket with 57 seconds remaining.

Coushatta held the ball for the last shot and Newellton got loose down under the goal, but his shot hit the side of the backboard with two second remaining and the game went into overtime.

The Choctaws scored a quick basket, but Mays tied it up at 63-63 after a Singleton steal. Vaughn then fouled out with 2:52 remaining. Chris Kennedy put Vidalia up 65-63 with 2:18 remaining, but Smith tied the game at 65-65 with 2:06 left. Newellton put the Choctaws up 67-65, but Singleton answered with basket to tie the game at 67-67 with 53 seconds left. Smith scored inside to put Coushatta up 69-67 with 35 seconds to play.

Vidalia missed a shot, but got it back on a turnover and Mays tied the game at 69-69 with 7.2 to play.

Smith got a pass inside and was fouled with 2.1 left. He sank both free throws and Johnson’s half-court shot was short, ending the Vikings’ season.

&uot;I’m proud of the guys and the ones who came off the bench stepped it up,&uot; said Vidalia coach Robert Sanders. &uot;One bounce this way or that, and it would have been a different game.&uot;

Newellton led Coushatta with 18 points, while Russell added 17, Smith 16 and McDonald 13.

Vidalia was led by Vaughn with 16. Johnson and Ellis added 12 each.

&uot;Vidalia’s No. 33 and 24 (Vaughn) are players,&uot; Johnson said.

Coushatta plays at Many next Friday.