Vikings score 43 points in second half to complete comeback

Published 10:15 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

VIDALIA — Vidalia had its third slow start this season as they closed the first half down 26-8 to Sicily Island. It would take a 43 point second half for the Vikings to come from behind and defeat the Tigers 51-44.

Head coach Damus Smith said in his 40 years of coaching, he has never seen a team average 9 points in the first half and about 45 in the second. He doesn’t know why, but his team has yet to come out of the dressing room ready to play. This Vikings squad doesn’t worry him.

“I never give up on them. I have a feeling we will battle back,” Smith said. “We have to do better in the first half to make it easier on ourselves. At halftime, we have to wake them up. With this team, you have to challenge them at halftime. We use two words, Energy and effort. I think it sinks in at halftime. They keep battling. It is what I love about them.”

The Vikings’ comeback started with good defensive play and hustle in the second half. Vidalia guard Chris Brooks flew around the court making plays. Forward Trenton Davis was the workhorse in the paint and scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half.

Smith said getting the ball to Davis more in the second half was crucial to their comeback. Three games into the season, none of their opponents have found a way to contain him. The junior said they have to execute better in the first half.

“We can’t always battle back in the second half. If we come out strong, we can beat any team,” Davis said. “In the first half, the energy isn’t there. We have to work hard in practice.”

He said the game’s momentum shifted to the Vikings’ favor midway through the third quarter. After three quarters, Vidalia had cut Sicily Island’s lead to 36-30.

With seven minutes left, Vidalia took a 37-36 lead and closed out the game with passion. Brooks picked up a bloody nose on a defensive effort, and when he came back in the game, he nailed a circus shot to help his team keep momentum.

Davis said it was all about execution in the second half. Emotions did boil over a few times, but the team was able to stay focused on the task at hand and earn the win. They missed an entire season due to COVID last year.

“We have to stop letting our emotions get to us and start playing basketball,” Davis said. “I’m just glad to be out there with my boys. they push me hard in practice, and I would not be who I am without them.”