Vidalia bends but doesn’t break against Trojans

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 2010

FERRIDAY — Vidalia High School bent plenty of times against Ferriday High School but didn’t break in a 68-58 win Thursday night.

After trailing in the first quarter, Vidalia pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back, although Ferriday fought to get the game within 10 points at the end of regulation.

Vikings head coach Robert Sanders said he would have liked to see a better performance from his players, but credited Ferriday for improving.

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“We didn’t play up to our potential, but they came better prepared than they were last week, and we expected that from them,” Sanders said.

Ferriday led 17-14 after the first quarter, but Vidalia went on a 10-0 run in the first two minutes before Freddy Gray hit a free-throw for Ferriday with 4:50 to go.

From there, Ferriday clawed back, keeping Vidalia to just six more points before intermission, while cutting the lead 30-25 at the half.

The Vikings would build a comfortable lead in the third quarter, however. Alvin Bell scored 10 of his 15 points in the third, and Vidalia tallied a 50-39 lead at the end of three.

“The main thing I was concerned about was keeping us fresh and out of foul trouble,” Sanders said.

“Turns out, our foul trouble helped us, because we kept subbing out. The deeper we can go into our bench, the better it’s going to be for us in the long run.”

The Trojans outscored Vidalia 19-18 in the fourth quarter, but the Vikings came away with the victory. Ferriday head coach James Davis said he was impressed with his team’s defense despite the loss.

“We played much better defense that we have in the past,” Davis said. “I think that was due to our decision to play man-to-man instead of zone.

“If we had played zone, they could pass it inside to their big men, then pass it out to their shooters, so we thought it was necessary to try man-to-man because of that.”

Vidalia’s perimeter player Terrance Thompson led the team with 21 points, and Sanders said his shooting would determine his team’s inside presence.

“We need Terrance to hit those outside shots, because it opens up our inside game for (Bell) and D.J. Polk,” Sanders said. “We’re counting on those two to do the inside scoring this year.”

Ted’Rai Gullege scored 23 points for the Trojans, and Richard Jefferson tacked on 16.

“I think what we can take away from this game is, even though we lost, I saw that we are capable of playing good defense,” Davis said. “We just have to get more points on transition offense.”

Vidalia (5-5), will play at Natchez High today. Ferriday (1-10) will travel to Natchez Saturday.