Vikings hope for better show in round two. v Crowley

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

VIDALIA — After playing what head coach Robert Sanders called the worst game of the season, the Vidalia boys basketball team is ready to redeem itself today.

The Vikings take on No. 15-seed Crowley High in the second round of the LHSAA Class 3A State Playoffs following a 67-50 win against No. 32 Jena on Friday.

The Vikings had a 20-2 lead on the Giants after the first quarter but let Jena sneak back up in what should have been a much easier win.

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“I think we just jumped out to the big lead and they thought they had it wrapped up,” Sanders said. “So they thought they could just play around.”

That mistake won’t be made again, the coach said. He has returned Vidalia to fundamentals in preparation for a team that defeated No. 18 E.D. White 64-66 in the first round.

This time, when the Vikings take the lead, Sanders said they better keep it.

“We’ve talked to them about developing a killer instinct,” he said. “When we have them down, we need to keep them down. This team coming in is a much better team, and at this point, if you lose one you’re out.”

Sanders had been looking for the Vikings to speed up the game against smaller opponents, hoping to overtake the game quickly.

But he said against Crowley, he may actually slow down the tempo and run more plays because the Gents like to run the ball.

“We’re going to have our hands full. They have three players that are good from the perimeter and like to shoot 3(-pointers), and they have two guys over 6-foot (tall) that like to shoot outside.”

Sanders said the Gents have been described as big and strong according to reports he’s received.

“They are a taller team. They start four people over 6 feet tall, and they have two more off the bench that are over 6-foot,” he said.

The game will be at the Vidalia High gym at 7 p.m. today.