Vidalia takes back parish bragging rights

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2000

A Ferriday victory at last week’s Vidalia High School invitational tournament did not sit well with the Vikings. Retribution came Friday, however, as Vidalia beat the Trojans 61-49 at the Natchez High School Hoops Classic.

&uot;They beat us in our own tournament,&uot; said Vidalia’s Derrick Johnson. &uot;We had to take it back.&uot;

The Vikings (7-3) made a definite statement in the first half, using a combination of outside shooting and second-chance points to build a 34-13 halftime lead.

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&uot;Our defense was the difference,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;We all played smarter.&uot;

Ferriday (6-2) began to stage a comeback in the third quarter after Ladrian Davis, who finished with 11 points, sank two three-pointers in a row to cut the Vikings’ lead to 15.

Jason Scott, who led the Trojans with 21 points, 10 steals and three blocks, cut the lead to nine in the fourth quarter when he followed a three-point shot with a steal and another basket.

However, the Vikings sealed the win on the free-throw line, sinking 11-of-13 attempts in the fourth quarter.

&uot;I feel much better tonight than I did last night,&uot; said Vidalia coach Robert Sanders, referring to Thursday’s 65-38 loss to Natchez. &uot;I think they were embarrassed and wanted to redeem themselves.&uot;

Johnson and Jarvis Vaughn each scored 17 points, and Vaughn added 9 boards and a pair of blocks. Jessie Banks chipped in 11 points for the Vikings.

The Lady Vikings nearly overcame a 16-point deficit to give Vidalia a clean sweep, but the Lady Trojans held on for a 61-59 victory in the girls match-up.

Ferriday (6-3) went on a 18-0 run in the first quarter to help take a 35-20 lead into halftime. The Trojans were sparked by Monique Jones, who racked up 15 points and 11 rebounds in the first half. However, she also picked up her fourth foul early in the third quarter and was forced to sit the majority of the second half.

&uot;Once Monique got in foul trouble it was like we were out of sync,&uot; said Ferriday coach Lisa Abron. &uot;When she’s out, it seems like everybody loses focus, and we let Vidalia back in it.&uot;

Ferriday’s 15-point lead lasted until the fourth quarter, when Vidalia’s Natalie McGraw scored 12 of her game-high 28 points to help cut the score to 58-56 with 27 seconds left in the game.

LaShawnda Pryor hit 3-of-4 free throws to extend Ferriday’s lead with only seconds remaining. Vidalia’s Brendy Ellis nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer, but the Vikings came up two points short.

&uot;That was a tough one,&uot; said Vidalia coach Lillian Johnson. &uot;By the time we decided to pick it up, we were too far down. We did a good job coming back, but we were down to deep.&uot;

&uot;We didn’t give up – we let up,&uot; said Jones, who finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. &uot;We had a big lead and we didn’t take care of the ball.&uot;

Jessica Greggs and Pryor each scored 13 points for Ferriday.

Vidalia was helped by Ellis’ 12 points and 10 rebounds and Dominique Trimble’s 10 points.

In the final games of the Hoops Classic today, Vidalia faces Jefferson County (girls at 4 p.m. and boys at 5:30 p.m.) and Natchez faces Ferriday (girls at 7 p.m. and boys at 8:30 p.m.)