Bulldogs take first game of Hoops Classic

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 7, 2000

The Natchez Bulldogs used a combination of inside power and outside shooting to drop the Vidalia Vikings 65-38 Thursday in the first game of the Natchez High School Hoops Classic.

Six-foot-five forward Vasshun Newborne and guard Jamal Bouldin led the Bulldogs with 14 points each.

Ten of Newborne’s points came in the second quarter before he left the game with a virus. His effort was enough to help give Natchez (10-1) a 31-19 halftime lead the Vikings (6-3) would never overcome.

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Another big man, 6-foot-3 senior Irvin Baker, came off the bench to earn eight points and seven rebounds in the first quarter alone. He finished with the Bulldogs’ only double-double with 13 points and 12 boards.

&uot;I knew Vasshun was sick and kind of down, and I knew I’d have to step up as a senior,&uot; Irvin said. &uot;I just tried to go out on the court and give it all I had.&uot;

Twelve of Bouldin’s points were from three-pointers, most of them coming in the second half.

&uot;Coach said to turn it up and switch to that second gear,&uot; Bouldin said. &uot;We wanted to turn it into a fast-paced game.&uot;

&uot;Our mind wasn’t in it,&uot; said Vidalia’s Jarvis Vaughn, who scored a game-high 18 points. &uot;We didn’t play right and we got beat bad.&uot;

&uot;We didn’t come to play today,&uot; Vikings coach Robert Sanders said.

The Lady Vikings fared significantly better, edging the Lady Bulldogs 61-56.

&uot;I’m proud to be a Viking,&uot; said Vidalia coach Lillian Johnson.

The contest was close until late in the fourth quarter, when Vidalia’s Wendy Paul nailed a three-pointer to give the Lady Vikings (6-2) a 55-52 lead with 1:37 to go.

Natchez (8-5) was forced to foul and Vidalia shot 3-of-6 from the line, enough to seal the victory.

&uot;We played just good enough for the win,&uot; Johnson said.

Vidalia held a slight 12-11 lead after the first quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs went on a 15-2 second quarter run to take a halftime lead of 26-18.

Vidalia answered in the third quarter, however, at one point taking a four-point lead before the period ended in a 36-36 tie.

Natalie McGraw led the Lady Vikings with 24 points and five steals. &uot;Me and Brendi (Ellis) struggled at first, but we took our time and the shots started falling,&uot; McGraw said.

Sharonda Anderson added nine points and 10 rebounds for Vidalia.

Gloria Lewis scored 19 points for Natchez and Angel Taylor added 14. Crystal Brown was a force in the paint, hauling in 17 rebounds and scoring eight points.

The Hoops Classic continues today with Ferriday facing off against Vidalia (girls at 4 p.m. and boys at 5:30 p.m.) and Natchez meeting Jefferson County (girls at 7 p.m. and boys at 8:30 p.m.)