Vidalia tops Tensas 60-51

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trashone Mayes goes up for a shot Monday evening during the Vikings' 60-51 win over Tensas Academy. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — A youth movement is taking over on the Vidalia High School boys basketball team, and at times that youth showed Monday night against Tensas Parish.

After leading 37-25 at the half, the Panthers were able to make things interesting, but Vidalia ended up pulling it out in the fourth quarter, winning 60-51 in their first game of the regular season.

Vikings head coach Robert Sanders said he was happy with the way his team started, but they let a couple of foul calls get them flustered.

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“We started out well and pressed like we were supposed to,” Sanders said.

“We had a letdown in the third quarter and they picked things up. They cut it to four in the second half on several occasions, but we were able to get back to playing (well) on defense. They got frustrated at first, but they calmed down and did what they had to in order to keep the lead.”

Vidalia’s Michael Whitley hit three straight layups to start he game, and he scored 12 points in the first quarter to give Vidalia a 20-7 advantage after one. Trashone Mays added four points, and Martel Wiley and Dee Whitley eached chipped in two.

In the second quarter, Whitley began getting into foul trouble, tallying three fouls and forcing Sanders to bench him for the remainder of the half. Eight of Tensas Parish’s 18 second-quarter points came on free throws.

“(Whitley) had some silly fouls,” Sanders said. “He was one of the ones who got frustrated, but he calmed down. He was the only one who saw extensive action at the varsity level last year, so it’s natural for him to want to be a leader.”

Whitley added eight more points in the second quarter, and finished with four fouls on the night.

The Vikings managed just eight points in the third, and Tensas Parish scored 13 to make it 45-38 at the end of the third.

Vidalia outscored the Panthers 15-13 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Wiley added 10 points to Whitley’s 22, and Watkins led Tensas Parish with 14 points. Arthur Gray had 13 points for the Panthers.

Noticeably absent for Vidalia Monday night was perimeter shooting. The Vikings threw up a lot of threes but didn’t make any, Sanders said.

“We have some people who can shoot threes,” Sanders said. “Isiah (Thompson) played in the junior varsity game and hit several threes, but he seemed cold in the varsity game. They just weren’t falling for anyone tonight.”

Vidalia (1-0) play Wednesday at Ridgewood. Sanders said he has high expectations for this year’s team, even if they are a little young.

“If we continue to progress each game, I think we’ll be in the running for district,” he said.