Ferriday survives Vidalia to open 4-2A

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2006

FERRIDAY &8212; LeKenyon Russ dominated the first half, and Eric Crump did the same thing in the second half.

The Ferriday senior duo combined for 48 points &8212; 24 for each &8212; as the Trojans earned a 64-60 victory over Vidalia in the District 4-2A opener on Tuesday night.

Ferriday coach James Davis kept his team in the locker room for more than 10 minutes after the game, as he lectured them on playing better defense.

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&8220;Ever since Day 1, that&8217;s all he&8217;s preached is defense,&8221; said Crump, a 6-foot-1 senior. &8220;They say offense wins games, but defense wins championships. A championship, that&8217;s what we&8217;re trying to get.&8221;

Ferriday (1-0, 18-7) has now beaten Vidalia four times this season, although the Vikings have made the game more competitive each time.

In a fast-paced game that kept the crowd boisterous, Vidalia used its size advantage in the first quarter and even took a 13-12 lead early in the second period.

Russ then scored 16 points in the second period, including back-to-back 3-pointers in the final two minutes, as Ferriday built a 35-26 lead before ending the first half leading 35-31.

Russ hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter as Ferriday&8217;s offense sputtered.

&8220;He hasn&8217;t been playing well later, but he brought his A game tonight,&8221; Davis said. &8220;We really needed his shooting from the perimeter.&8221;

Added Crump, &8220;We&8217;ve been expecting that from him all year.&8221;

Perhaps Russ inspired Crump &8212; or maybe it was the halftime pep talk by Davis &8212; but Crump took over in the third quarter by scoring all 15 of the Trojans&8217; points.

Crump scored almost every way imaginable in the third quarter, making 3-of-6 free throws, using turnaround jumpers in the post and even getting a breakaway dunk.

Playing against 6-foot-4 Jeremy Riggs and 6-foot-5 Josh Upchurch, Crump was not intimidated at all.

&8220;At halftime, Coach told me I needed to go out and pick it up,&8221; he said. &8220;Just take it to them. I just had to do what I had to do.&8221;

Vidalia kept the game close, thanks to five points from Riggs and four free throws by Brandon Hawkins in the third quarter.

Ferriday&8217;s clung to a five-point lead late in the game, but Russ nailed his fourth 3-pointer and Crump made two driving layups to push the lead to 64-54 with 1:31 to play.

Foul trouble hurt Vidalia (10-10, 0-1), as Upchurch, Hawkins and Demack Bates missed significant minutes because of fouls.

The fouls forced Vidalia guard Jarvis Whitley to play all 32 minutes against Ferriday&8217;s constant pressure.