Tomorrow’s Stars: Vidalia sophomores fill up the scoring column vs. Caldwell
VIDALIA — The 2015-16 basketball season represents two totally opposite realities for Vidalia basketball.
For the Lady Vikings, it represents a team trying to fill the void senior Tierra Bell will leave behind. The leading candidate to step up and fill those shoes is sophomore Bre’Honor Harris, who has been tit for tat with Bell in leading the team in scoring this season. Harris got a taste of the Lady Vikings reality next season in a contest against Caldwell Parish Friday, when Bell sat most of the second half with four fouls.
“It bothered me being out there without her because I’m used to having her beside me, but I’m going to have to get used to it because this is her senior year,” Harris said.
Meanwhile, Demarco Brown and the Vikings will face a completely different situation, as leading scorers Julius Wilson, Malik Jefferson and Brown will all return next season. But as guards Wilson and Jefferson have grabbed headlines with their flash, Brown has been in the paint, doing the dirty work. It was more of that dirty work that allowed him to contribute in the first place.
“As a freshman last year, I didn’t get to start until district play,” Brown said. “Because I wasn’t playing much, I would practice on the weekends, work more after school and watch YouTube videos and practice post moves at the junior high slab.”
The extra effort has visibly paid off, as Brown led the Vikings in scoring against Caldwell Parish with 22 points. Head coach Robert Sanders went as far as to say Brown has become the team’s go-to post player.
“He’s grown quite a bit,” Sanders said. “He’s our best finisher. When he stays out of foul trouble, we have a lot better game.”
While Brown and his teammates are riding a winning streak and gaining momentum, Harris is fighting for recognition on a struggling Lady Vikings team. As her team fell to the Lady Spartans 61-35 Friday night, Harris played the entire game and never gave up, earning high praise from her coach Fred Marsalis.
“She’s a warrior,” Marsalis said. “She’s just a tough kid.”
As her team trailed 61-32 with the clock ticking down, Harris exhibited that warrior mentality, battling until the final horn.
Right before the final buzzer sounded, Harris launched a 3-pointer and drilled it to make the final 61-35.
“No matter if we’re down by 50 or 30 points, I’m going to finish the game,” the sophomore Harris said.
That never-say-die attitude is a trend both Harris and Brown share. Riding the bench as a freshman didn’t sit well with Brown, so he did something about it to earn playing time. Going into his sophomore year, he went the extra mile, accepting an invitation from assistant coach Gary Stewart to further tune up his skills in the offseason.
“I got with him, and we would play against the older guys who won a state championship,” Brown said. “They were trying to make us better.”
In their own separate way, Harris and Brown are the future of Vidalia basketball, and as they continue to grind it out week-by-week, they will look to make that future brighter one battle at a time.
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