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Lady Vikings fail to hang with Marksville in district clash

Vidalia’s Bre’Honor Harris scrambles for a loose ball  against Marksville’s My Sherie Johnson on the floor Tuesday night. The Lady Vikings lost to the Lady Tigers 62-39 (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

Vidalia’s Bre’Honor Harris scrambles for a loose ball against Marksville’s My Sherie Johnson on the floor Tuesday night. The Lady Vikings lost to the Lady Tigers 62-39 (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

vidalia — Vidalia girls head coach Fred Marsalis had been preaching to his team about playing four quarters, and Tuesday night, he was only able to get three out of them. While in the night-cap, the clash between Marksville and Vidalia took overtime to determine a winner.

After a first quarter that saw both teams post 10 points, the Vidalia Lady Vikings appeared to be in good shape heading into the second. But the wheels fell off, and Marksville outscored Vidalia 26-6 in the quarter, a lead the Lady Vikings couldn’t overcome.

“The second quarter killed us,” Marsalis said. “Like always, our depth was a big problem. Bre Tolliver got into foul trouble and it showed when we were forced to take her out. We have a problem with depth and we have to work through it.”

Marksville’s Hazel Young led the charge for the Lady Tigers in the second quarter, scoring nine of her game-high 28 points. But despite having a large deficit going into the half, the Lady Vikings refused to quit.

Vidalia hung with Marksville the rest of the way, only being outscored by three points in the second half.

Marsalis said the difference in the game was him being forced to turn to young players early.

“I had to put younger players in the game because we didn’t have anybody else,” Marsalis said. “Experience killed us. I couldn’t take a chance of getting my people who might give us a run for it into foul trouble in the first half.”

Tierra Bell was the leading scorer for Vidalia with 11 points, while teammate Bre’Honor Harris chipped in with nine points of her own.

Marksville (boys) 73, Vidalia 71 (OT)

Diontray Bonton coolly stepped to the free throw line for Marksville. There was 0.6 seconds on the clock and the score was tied at 65. All he had to do was make one of his two shots and the Tigers would have a district win.

“Very nervous,” head coach Robert Sanders said of his feeling when Bonton stepped to the line. “I just knew he was going to make one of them, but fortunately he didn’t and we went to overtime. We had new life.”

But Vidalia was unable to capitalize on their second chance, falling 73-71 in overtime.

“It is very tough,” Sanders said. “That is the second time that has happened in two straight games, but the thing about this one is it is at home.”

Vidalia had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but a turnover took the air out of the potential game winning possession.

“We just wanted to hold the ball and drive to the goal,” said Sanders of his plan at the end of regulation. “I heard them say not to foul, so I was hoping that we would get an uncontested layup.”

In the overtime period, the Vikings once again had a chance to tilt the contest in their favor, but a mishandled inbound pass turned the ball over to Marksville with 15 seconds left to play.

“We just had a little miscommunication,” Vidalia’s Malik Jefferson said.

Marksville’s Dayton Johnson knocked down a shot after the turnover and Vidalia was forced to run the full length of the floor with 11 seconds left to play.

Their star player, Julius Wilson, took the ball coast-to-coast, but his final layup attempt at the buzzer was swatted away.

The final play summed up a rough night for Wilson, who was in foul trouble early in the game and sat nearly the whole second quarter. He finished the contest with eight points.

However, some young talent for the Vikings stepped in, including a 26-point performance from Demarco Brown. Jefferson added 14 points, as well.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Vikings and Sanders said he knows his team has to keep working.

“We are going to have to regroup and go back to the drawing board,” he said. “We play Jena at home Friday and we better come to play.”