Vidalia girls pick up first win in two years Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; It took two seasons, but the Vidalia Lady Vikings are back in the win column.

The Lady Vikings used strong defense, along with poor foul shooting by Sicily Island, to take a 46-41 win Tuesday night at home.

&8220;This is a new group. It&8217;s a new attitude,&8221; said Vidalia head coach Damus Smith.

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Tyshica Rodgers led Vidalia with 16 points, and Erika Brown pitched in 13.

Anjelica Branson led the Lady Tigers with 20 points.

In a game in which neither team shot the ball well (Sicily Island went through three long scoring droughts that totaled more than 15 minutes of game time), the Lady Tigers got in foul trouble early and had to play the final 1:26 with only four players.

&8220;(Foul trouble) and the fact that we missed probably 15 points on free throws (were the keys to the loss,&8221; said Sicily Island head coach Tommy Branch. &8220;I feel like if we had made our free throws we would&8217;ve won the game.&8221;

The Lady Vikings trailed 11-6 late in the first quarter, but then held the Lady Tigers over eight minutes without a field goal, as they took a 19-15 lead, and then led 21-19 at halftime.

The third quarter was rough on both sides, as each team struggled to score, but the Lady Vikings extended the lead.

The Lady Tigers pulled to within two with 2:30 to go in the final frame and appeared to be on the verge of tying the game when Branson stole a ball and went on a fast break, but Rodgers stole the ball right back and converted a three-point play to put the game out of reach.

Smith said he expects the win to catapult the Lady Vikings to better things this season.

&8220;This is a young team,&8221; he said. &8220;We&8217;ve mostly got freshman. We only had three girls with experience, and when it&8217;s experience on a losing team, it ain&8217;t much. With a young team like this, the more games you play, the better. I think this win is going to help us.&8221;