Vikings go inside to put away Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; Life sure can get lonely in a hurry when you don’t have a big man in the post.

For the second time in a little over a week the Ferriday Trojans had the unenviable task of trying to defend a sizeable 6-whatever man in the post. This time they had to stop Vidalia’s 6-4 post Louis McNulty, and the Vikings’ solid outside shooting again caused 32 minutes of matchup problems.

McNulty poured in a game-high 19 points as the Vikings pulled a 60-42 win over Ferriday in a non-district contest.

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&uot;Those big guys &045; they always give us problems,&uot; Ferriday head coach James Davis said. &uot;Any time you have a big guy like that get close to the goal &045; I mean, we did a good job, but it’s hard to stop a guy like that when he gets the ball where he wants it &045; not where we want it, where he wants it.&uot;

The result was similar to last week’s loss to Block in trying to stop Bears post Jeremy Washington, although he’s skilled enough to hurt teams from just about everywhere on the court. But McNulty is solid enough inside to bang with the best of men underneath, and the Vikings exploited that as much as they could.

The Trojans tried double-teaming him, falling into a 2-3 zone and anything else to stop McNulty and the Vikings.

But now the big man is improving his post move, getting into basketball shape and taking over the lane as

his own this year after teaming up with forward David Wilson last year.

&uot;I’ve been working on (my post move) since last year,&uot; McNulty said. &uot;It’s different because you’re so used to running and stopping in football. Basketball is constantly running. You’ve got to get your legs back in shape. But I don’t feel any pressure &045; I’ve got Tony Hawkins, Rodney Washington, Steven Cooper and Michael Randall. I’ve got a bunch of guys to help me.&uot;

All those teammates helped in getting the offense going either inside or outside &045; depending on what the Trojans were giving them defensively. The start of the second half the Vikings went inside &045; McNulty scored three of the team’s first four baskets &045; to take a 20-point lead and blow the game open.

&uot;That was our game plan,&uot; Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said. &uot;They were pretty much doubling him, and we were patient enough to wait until we got it inside. Most importantly, he watched his fouls for a half, at least. (It’s big) more so because he doesn’t have David anymore. We’re hoping for somebody else to fill that fourth spot.&uot;

The Vikings got a 3-pointer from Ken Johnson, and the Vikings’ defense started to click in their half-court trap. Johnson and Steven Cooper each put in layups off steals to take a 42-17 lead with 4:49 left.

Ferriday got a 3-pointer from LaKenyon Russ, but the Vikings’ Marvin Warner put in a layup at the 3:12 mark for a 44-20 lead before taking a 46-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

&uot;They got some turnovers &045; some big turnovers,&uot; Davis said. &uot;We work on that every day in practice. For some reason when our guys see a press, they just panic. We’ve got to pass the ball &045; little fundamental stuff. We weren’t fundamental whatsoever.&uot;

The Vikings started to pull away in the second quarter after taking a 16-11 lead by the end of the first. The Trojans spent the first half doubling up on McNulty, and Hawkins buried a 3-pointer at the 4:41 mark for a 21-13 lead.

It sparked a 11-0 lead that continued with a McNulty bucket inside and a Hawkins basket before the Vidalia lead grew to 29-13.

&uot;They doubled me the first half,&uot; said McNulty, who had 17 in the Vikings’ win over Davidson Tuesday. &uot;We had to change our offense down low. Tony and C.J. hitting from the outside left it open for me on the inside.&uot;