Vidalia takes close win over Jefferson Co.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; The crisp passing of Quartrell Thomas and sharp shooting of Gary Stevens and Brandon Hawkins helped Vidalia hold off a determined Jefferson County squad 71-66 Tuesday night.

While Vidalia never trailed after early in the opening quarter, they never led by more than seven points in a game that was very much in doubt until the very end.

&8220;We knew they&8217;d keep coming,&8221; said Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders. &8220;We&8217;ve played them before, and we know what kind of team they have.&8221;

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A Stevens three-point play with just over a minute left gave the Vikings a six-point lead and effectively iced the game.

Stevens scored 24 points and Hawkins scored 23 to lead Vidalia, and Percy Turner and Joseph Kemp led the Tigers, also scoring 24 and 23, respectively.

One of the keys to the game may have been Thomas, however, and Sanders agreed.

&8220;Overall it was a good performance,&8221; Sanders said. &8220;I thought we found the point guard we&8217;re looking for in Quartrell Thomas, and I think he opened up the offense with his passing and outside shooting.&8221;

Sanders said the good shooting performance and strong defense were also keys to the win.

&8220;We went to man-to-man defense, and that helped us,&8221; he said. &8220;We were hitting our outside shots, and that opened up our inside game. It was a good performance.&8221;

Jefferson County will next play at Natchez High Tuesday, Nov. 28,

while Vidalia will host Sicily Island that same night.