Vidalia comeback falls short

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2011

VIDALIA — Despite a poor showing by the Vidalia High School boys basketball team, the Vikings still managed to take their game against Caldwell High School down to the wire.

But the Spartans survived a scare with a 59-53 win over the now 9-10 Vikings, 4-1 in district. Despite being down as many as 13 points in the second half, the Vikings’ intensity never lessened, and the Spartans saw their 13-point lead dwindle to 5 as the game expired.

“To (my players’) credit, they didn’t give up,” head coach Robert Sanders said.

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The Vikings trailed throughout the entire game, never holding a lead. They suffered through missed free throws, open three-pointers and failure to box out defensively, giving away many offensive rebounds to the Spartans.

“We struggled in the first half especially. We missed a lot of free throws and uncontested threes,” Sanders said. “I don’t know the count, but I know they out rebounded us, too.”

“They definitely out rebounded us, a lot on the offensive end,” Sanders said. “It’s expected on the defensive end.”

The Vikings sped the game up in the fourth quarter and ran their signature full-court press. Vidalia was trailing by 13 at the start of the quarter and brought the game as close as five points down the stretch. But the change of pace was not enough as the Spartans made a few free throws nearing the game’s end as the Vikings were forced to foul.

“We basically stayed in our press; however, there were times they got easy buckets,” Sanders said. “We seem to have a problem with letting the other team set their defense up early in games.”

The Vikings trailed by eight at the half, but outscored the Spartans in the second half by three.

D.J. Polk led the Vikings with 15 points.

Caldwell 58,

Vidalia girls 37

The Lady Vikings had a 14-7 lead at the end of the first period, yet managed to let it all slip away in the fourth as the Lady Spartans took the win 58-37.

Vidalia, down 37-30 at the start of the fourth quarter, sputtered in the final period. Their seven point fourth quarter was not enough offense to keep up with the 21-point performance by the Lady Spartans in the fourth.

The Lady Vikings had a hard time against the full-court press that Caldwell ran, turning the ball over numerous times.

The Lady Vikings trailed by one at the half; however, they could not get it rolling offensively in the second half.

Vidalia only managed 14 second half points, seven in each quarter.

Elizabeth Cupit led the Vikings with 14 points. Kisha Swanson trailed her with 12.