VHS boys, girls start season with win

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vidalia — For the first time since 2003, the Vidalia boys and girls’ varsity teams opened the season with victories. The boys defeated Sicily Island 80-72, following the girls’ 54-32 victory against the Tigers Tuesday night.

The boys’ contest was much tighter than the girls early on, as the Vikings traded leads with the Tigers for the better part of two quarters. Vidalia led 21-20 after a frantic shooting showcase, and it was the Vikings’ willingness to go for steals that allowed easy field goal conversions for the Tigers.

“We were a little erratic on defense, gambling too much, but once we settled down, we got away from them,” Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said.

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Julius Wilson took over in the second, creating steals and converting them into layups on the other end. Wilson ended the half with a layup before the buzzer, giving the Vikings a 36-32 lead at the break.

Coming out of the half, Malik Jefferson and Desmond Binder took over offensively, hitting one three pointer after another. Binder led the Vikings in scoring with 18, while Jefferson added 17, including five 3-pointers. Wilson finished with 16.

Vidalia took a 53-43 lead into the third quarter, and that’s when the Vikings went on a 10-0 run at the beginning of the fourth. Jefferson scored eight of his 17 points in the period.

The Vikings had a scare in the fourth when Wilson exited the game with six minutes left, grabbing his chest and nearly collapsing as he walked off the gym floor. Paramedics worked on him, and Sanders reported after the game that it was nothing serious.

“He called back to check what the score was,” Sanders said. “He hyperventilated.”

At the hospital, Wilson said he was ok, just a little rattled about the incident.

“It made me panic,” Wilson said. “It freaked me out

Varsity girls

Earlier in the evening, the Lady Vikings were creating history, becoming the first Vidalia girls team in over a decade to pick up a win in its first regular season outing.

“It’s always a good momentum builder when you can open the season with a win,” Marsalis said. “We were able to get the sixth, seventh and eighth player some playing time. That was our biggest accomplishment tonight.”

While Marsalis got the production he wanted out of his bench, it was Tierra Bell and Bre’Honor Harris leading the way, totaling 15 and 14 points respectively.

“If they don’t play that way, then they’re under my expectations,” Marsalis said. “That’s what we’ve come to expect from them.”

The game was tied 9-9 heading into the second before the Lady Vikings went on a 22-8 run in the second quarter, extending their lead to 31-17 at the half. From there, the Lady Vikings didn’t let up, outscoring Sicily Island in the remaining two quarters. Vidalia made more free throws than they missed down the stretch, and this was something Marsalis was hoping would change losses from last season into victories this season.

“This is something we work on daily,” Marsalis said. “Last year, we lost games. We looked back, and if we would have hit our free throws, we would have won them.”

Both Vidalia teams begin the season 1-0, and will travel to take on Ferriday Friday.