Vikings solid in fourth to put away Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; Leave it to Ferriday to make the obvious so darned hard for its opponent.

The Trojans were in control of the game and kept Vidalia’s Ajay Warner in control for most of the game until the Vikings went to the plan that’s been so efficient this season.

They got it inside.

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Tony Hawkins and Louis McNulty combined for 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Vikings shook off the pesky Trojans for a 61-50 win Tuesday in the District 3-2A opener for both teams.

&uot;I tried to come out and play my best ball because I played like crap the whole game &045; the first three quarters anyway,&uot; said Hawkins, who hit a big 3-pointer midway through the quarter. &uot;My big man Louis told me to come to him inside. He felt it, and I tried to give him the ball.

&uot;Coach said get the ball inside because Ferriday didn’t have that much height.&uot;

True statement, and McNulty and the Vikings (15-4, 1-0) took advantage when they needed it the most late in the game. Vidalia started the fourth quarter trailing by four points but opened up on a 17-4 run that broke the Trojans’ backs.

&uot;The second half we didn’t play well defending the post,&uot; Ferriday head coach James Davis said. &uot;They really hurt us down there offensively. Like I told you once before &045; we’re not good in the post right now, but we’ll continue to work to get better.&uot;

Ferriday (8-10, 0-1) got a basket from Reginald Carroll for a two-point lead just under a minute into the quarter, and that’s when the Vikings stared to pull away. David Wilson put in a basket before Hawkins nailed a 3-pointer &045; the Vikings’ only 3-point bomb of the game &045; for only their second lead of the second half.

From there McNulty scored consecutive buckets for a 51-44 lead. After Ladrian Davis scored for Ferriday, Hawkins drove from out on the perimeter to the basket for a layup in traffic for a 53-46 lead with 3:16 left.

McNulty finished with a game-high 18 points.

&uot;The score was tied, and (Hawkins) hit the 3 to put us up,&uot; Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said. &uot;From there we kind of pulled away. In the second quarter we got frustrated, and we weren’t playing defense and scoring like we wanted to. They played a man on everybody, and it took us a while to recognize it.&uot;

The Trojans, who got points earlier in the game off turnovers, couldn’t get it going offensively in the halfcourt up against Vidalia’s man-to-man defense. LaKendrick Nix hit one of two field goals after Davis’ bucket, and the Trojans came up empty on three attempts at the free throw line in the fourth.

Nix hit a bucket with 2:20 left, and the Vikings answered with one each from Hawkins and McNulty before Warner hit two free throws with 17 seconds left for a 61-48 lead.

&uot;We couldn’t do the things we were able to do in the first half,&uot; James Davis said. &uot;We were able to take them off the dribble, and for some reason we weren’t able to do that. They picked up the defensive intensity in the second half and got some easy baskets. But overall I thought our guys hustled and didn’t give up, and that’s all I can ask for.&uot;

The Trojans gave Vidalia their biggest troubles in the second quarter and late in the third quarter to make their home fans start thinking upset. Vidalia held a 34-32 lead midway through the third before Ferriday scored six straight points to take a 38-34 lead.

Warner, who scored nine in the third, hit a bucket with 53 seconds left to cut the lead to two. Ferriday got a basket from Albert Lee to take a four-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Trojans went into halftime holding a 30-23 lead courtesy of a 15-4 run to end the second quarter.

&uot;That’s what we’ve been preaching &045; defense,&uot; James Davis said. &uot;We told them we’d have to play tough, in-your-face defense.&uot;

Ferriday girls 51, Vidalia 31

The Lady Trojans didn’t get off to the best of starts in the first quarter, but they were able to put away the Lady Vikings convincingly late.

Ferriday held a modest 14-10 lead by the end of the first quarter before outscoring Vidalia 10-4 in the second to take a 24-14 lead at halftime.

The Lady Trojans outscored Vidalia 16-5 in the third to lead 39-19 heading into the fourth quarter.

Monique Jones led Ferriday with 18 points. Shemica Williams led Vidalia with 13.