All shook up in 3-2A: McCall nips Vidalia for tie atop district standings
Published 12:00 am Friday, February 7, 2003
VIDALIA, La. &045; If you didn’t occupy a seat on the two sets of six-row deep, blue bleachers Friday, you should be ashamed.
The McCall Dragons and Vidalia Vikings put on a district 3-2A spectacular Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey would envy.
Only one show, though, and no matinee.
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The Dragons, who are on probation and must play all district games on the road, got stellar shooting from Chris Williams and key inside play in the second half from David Mullenix to leave a Vidalia gym, which was on its feet for practically the entire fourth quarter, with a 73-72 win.
&uot;It’s our mindset. I came here after a whole week of preparation and managed to get out with a win,&uot; McCall head coach Mitchell Riggs said. &uot;Every time we come here (Vidalia) it is always tough. But we were able to survive it.&uot;
The Dragons (17-8, 4-1 district 3-2A), who led by as many as 6 points in the final quarter, held a 68-63 advantage with 1:14 to play on a Williams jumper.
Vidalia’s Ajay Warner, who led the Vikes (20-5, 6-1 3-2A) with 23 points, hit a pair of free throws with a little more than a minute left.
After Mullenix turned the ball over, Warner got the Vidalia fans cabbage patching with a 3-pointer to tie the game 68-all with 48.8 seconds remaining.
&uot;We had some mental lapses down the stretch, but good teams like Vidalia will make you do that,&uot; Riggs said. &uot;I always say playing on your homecourt gives you about a 10-point advantage.&uot;
The Dragons’ Antonio Vaughn drove cost-to-coast after the Warner trey to put McCall back on top.
Then with 24.6 ticks left Mullenix hitting the back end of a pair of free throws.
Warner opted for a deuce instead of trey with 10 seconds left and the Vikes immediately fouled Williams, who proceeded to hit the pair of freebies.
Vidalia’s Tony Hawkins had a great look at a 3 as time wound down, but it drew iron and all the Vikings settled for was a 2-pointer with less than a second remaining.
&uot;Not to take anything away from McCall, but our focus wasn’t there tonight,&uot; Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said. &uot;We weren’t really connecting on the offensive end. We didn’t play up to our potential.&uot;
Williams was the game’s high-scorer with 29 points, as Vaughn and Mullenix gave the Dragons three players in double figures with 16 and 14, respectively.
Williams connected on two treys and 11 points to steal the impetus away from Vidalia in the second period.
Despite, heading into the break down by two, 31-29, McCall had unquestionably pushed back after trailing by as much as eight in the first period.
&uot;They took the momentum away from us in the second,&uot; Sanders said. &uot;We got it back for a while, but we couldn’t maintain it.&uot;
The Vikings used a 6-0 run to increase their lead to 11, 29-18, with 4:36 left in the second.
That’s when Williams took over. He knocked down back-to-back three pointers to get the difference within single digits and then hit a runner to cap his own 8-0 run with 2:10 to play and the deficit just three, 29-26.
Vidalia got a bucket from David Wilson with 1:23 left and would have gone to the break with a 5-point lead, but Williams was hacked in the act of another 3 attempt with 6-tenths of a second left to garner three chances at the charity stripe.
&uot;We did what we had to do in order to beat a champion,&uot; Riggs said. &uot;We had to beat these guys and I’m proud of my kids, but we’re not out of the woods yet.&uot;