Don’t know much

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 3, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; There is a lot of uncertainty when the playoffs get into full swing.

One loss can ruin a great season and send teams headlong into cleats and helmets for the baseball year.

Couple that with playing opponents you’ve only heard second-hand information about and head coach’s head may get a bit more gray.

Email newsletter signup

Springfield, Vidalia’s Class 2A regional playoff foe at 7 p.m. Tuesday

in Livingston Parish, head coach Mark Erdey has driven three hours to get tape on teams before but could find little about the Vikings.

&uot;I don’t know anything about them. Can you tell me something?&uot; Erdey inquired Sunday. &uot;On a Mardi Gras weekend like this, it’s a tough time of year to play and it means so much. I’m blind right now.&uot;

Erdey’s Bulldogs (21-10), whose tallest players stand 6-foot-5 and 6-2 with a supporting cast of guards averaging 5-7, might be in for a rude awakening against a Vidalia (23-6) squad that loves for its big men David Wilson (6-6) and Louis McNulty (6-7) to get easy points around the basket.

Even backup Josh Bush (6-5) contributed 7 points in a big way last Friday when the Vikings disposed of district 5-2A runner-up Vermillion Catholic, 78-58.

Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders is hopeful he can continue to get that type of production out of his inside forces.

&uot;It’s very important at this time of year to put up or shut up because if you lose, you’re going home,&uot; Sanders said. &uot;The way Josh played the other night was better than he has played the rest of the season.&uot;

Bush is one of six seniors for Vidalia, five of which see significant minutes.

Neither he nor his fellow veterans, including Wilson, Ajay Warner and guard Jessie Lyles want to think about how every game from here on out could be their last.

The seniors would rather focus on continuing to post wins and eventually lifting a state championship trophy above their heads.

&uot;In the past two games the seniors really have become more vocal,&uot; Sanders said. &uot;It took a while, but they’ve come around. Most of them played football so they can relate to having their season end in the playoffs.

&uot;Also, I think they’ve taken into account what happened to Ferriday.&uot;

Sanders is referring to the Lady Trojans, who lost last week in the quarterfinals to Christian Life, for their first defeat in 33 games.

Springfield, the champion from district 8-2A with a 7-3 record, advanced to regionals after A.J. Dantzler poured in 31 points in an 88-70 win over Redeemer-Seton.

Dantzler, the Bulldogs’ 6-5 post, and the 6-2 Jermaine George, who scored more than 20 points as well, had their way with the undersized Rams last Friday.

However, Erdey fears it will not be as easy for the two against McNulty, Wilson and Bush.

&uot;Those guys (Dantzler and George) are 80 percent of our scoring and 90 percent of our rebounding,&uot; he said. &uot;If they can hold them to 10 points each, we don’t have a chance.&uot;

Sanders expects to start the game defensively in a matchup zone defense to help limit Dantzler’s touches.

If the Vikings’ offense can lure George into early foul trouble by running him ragged, Sanders is hopefully a quarterfinal appearance will

be waiting.

If they can pull of a win, chances are good the Vikings will host a round of 56 matchup with the Christian Life/Port Barre winner.

&uot;Everything I tell them from this point on is old hat,&uot; Sander said of his players. &uot;They’ve been looking forward to this point, especially the seniors. Once it’s over for them there is no next year.&uot;

The Bulldogs, who were knocked from the quarterfinals last season by Port Barre, have just two seniors in Dantzler and George.

Even though, Erdey is nervous of the meek leftovers remaining in the cupboard, role players did connect on six 3-pointers against Redeemer.

&uot;The (Redeemer) coach told me that wasn’t in the scouting report,&uot; he said of his team’s success from the perimeter. &uot;I’d told me it surprised me too. Hopefully (the role players) are coming around at the right time of the year. Usually I hold my breath when they shoot.&uot;

Sanders does not want the Vikings to focus on the things they don’t know, but instead direct their attention at to what has brought them success this year.

&uot;The way we approach it is if we do the things that we do best, we’ll be OK,&uot; Sanders said. &uot;In the playoffs you have to play the game and hope what you hear from other teams is half-way true.&uot;