Vidalia boys take FHS tourney crown for third straight year

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 16, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – The Vidalia Vikings claimed their third straight boys championship and the Ferriday Lady Trojans won the girls crown in the Ferriday High Invitational Basketball Tournament Saturday night.

In the boys title game, the Vikings escaped with a dramatic 67-66 win over the Ferriday Trojans.

Ajay Warner, the tournament’s most valuable player, had 26 points and six rebounds for Vidalia (11-1). He hit four of nine three-pointers and was six of seven from the free-throw line.

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&uot;He came through tonight with some big shots when we needed them,&uot; said Vikings head coach Robert Sanders. &uot;But at times he seemed to get out of his range.&uot; Despite 14 points from Warner as well as 13-19 free-throw shooting by the Vikings, they were up by only one, 33-32, at halftime.

Thanks to two threes by Warner and timely free-throw shooting by Louis McNulty and Tony Hawkins, Vidalia extended its lead to 56-48 going into the fourth quarter.

Hawkins had 13 points and McNulty had 11 points, six boards and five blocked shots.

Then Ferriday (7-5) rallied in the fourth quarter. With 4:46 left, Vidalia was hit with a technical foul. Ladrian Davis made both free throws to cut the Vikings’ lead to 60-58. Then with 1:50 remaining, a three by LaKendrick Nix tied the score at 63. Two free throws by Jessie Lyles gave Vidalia a 67-64 lead with 14.3 seconds left. Christopher Watson’s long jumper as time expired was ruled a two and the game was over.

&uot;We missed about 15 free throws,&uot; said Ferriday coach James Davis. &uot;We make those and we win the game.&uot;In the girls championship game, the Lady Trojans defeated the Block Lady Bears 65-46.

After getting off to a slow start early on, Monique Jones led Ferriday (9-3) with 24 points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

Torisheka Taylor scored eight straight points, including two threes, to start the third quarter and finished with 19 points, nine boards, three steals and one block.

&uot;She came through for us because she got off to a slow start,&uot; said Lady Trojans coach Lisa Abron.

Abron was also pleased to see her team hit nine of 13 free throws.

&uot;We’ve been in a slump there,&uot; she said. &uot;Free throws decide the game if it’s a close game.&uot;

Block (4-5) cut Ferriday’s lead to eight early in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer.

Dani McMillin led Block with 15 points. Shaterrica Savage added 14 points.