Score will remain with seniors

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 28, 2000

The score 71-69 will stay with seniors David Haywood, Edwin Harris, Travis Nealy, Demetries Minor, Jovon Edwards, Dariel Mays, Chris Kennedy and Ronald Ellis will for quite a while.

Haywood, Harris, Nealy, Minor and Edwards were part of the Natchez team that lost to Biloxi 71-69 in the semifinals of South State, while Mays, Kennedy and Ellis were part of the Vidalia team that lost to Coushatta 71-69 in overtime in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.

Natchez lost to Harrison Central Saturday in the consolation game, but the fact they could have beaten Biloxi and faced a Meridian team they could have matched up well against makes the loss even tougher.

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Natchez would have had a good chance to beat Meridian and get a bye at the state tournament.

And Class 5A North teams are not as strong as usual this year.

Vidalia High, which was ranked No. 2 at one time, took on a Coushatta team that lost three starters from a squad that defeated McCall last year for the state title.

And to let you how much McCall cannot stand Vidalia, Dragon head coach Mitchell Riggs sent Coushatta both of his tapes from his two games with the Vikings.

Vidalia beat McCall in Vidalia and win the district.

I hate to sound like sour grapes, but the officiating left a lot to be desired in both cases.

From what I hear down in Biloxi from observers and other writers, Biloxi’s guard could have been called for a walk or charge before dishing off to Ryan Kennedy who hit the game winning shot with a second left.

There were other inconsistent calls that seemed to go the way of the Gulf Coast team.

The officiating in the Vidalia-Coushatta game was a bit strange as they would call it close in one stretch and then not call anything in another stretch.

The most unfortunate call came when Vidalia’s top scorer Ronald Ellis was whistled for his fifth foul in the fourth quarter.

Ellis was scrambling for the ball and a Coushatta player was standing over him with his foot close to Ellis’ face.

Ellis held his hand up to keep the foot from stepping on him when he was whistled for holding.

But that’s part of the game and the kind of things you have to overcome to be considered among the best.

Natchez certainly overachieved by even reaching South State and has plenty to be proud of this season.

Vidalia was a strong team when the starters were able to play without having to sit out because of foul trouble, but that was their Achilles’ heel in the end.

Coushatta has a good team and is not your typical wild card.

You can find hundreds of things in the Vidalia loss that could have changed the outcome. Jarvis Vaughn had a few shots from under the basket that seemed headed right through the net, but nipped the rim and bounced out.

&uot;If we could have just had one bounce go our way,&uot; Vidalia coach Robert Sanders said after the contest.

As Sanders knows, somebody has got to win and somebody’s got to lose.

But when you know how hard the players from Vidalia and Natchez worked all year and how dedicated they were, it makes it tough when that somebody is wearing a different uniform.

But it certainly shouldn’t take away from the accomplishments of both teams. They can hold their heads just as high because they’re both winners in a lot of hearts around the Miss-Lou.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at