Vidalia Lady Vikings upset by Mamou in LHSAA Division III Bi-District Round

Published 2:44 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

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VIDALIA — A promising season for Vidalia High School’s varsity girls’ basketball team came to a surprising end last Thursday night as the No. 12 seed Lady Vikings lost the No. 21 seed Mamou High School Lady Demons in the bi-district round of the 2024 LHSAA Division III (Non-Select) Playoffs.

Despite the lack of playoff experience, Vidalia got off to a good start and led Mamou 12-8 at the end of the first quarter. However, the Lady Demons responded by outscoring the Lady Vikings 15-6 in the second quarter for a 23-18 halftime lead and 12-9 in the third quarter for a 35-27 advantage.

Lady Vikings head coach Flora McKnight attributed the loss to missed free throws and a few missed lay-ups late in the ball game.

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“The first two quarters we played well. The bottom line is we didn’t make our free throws and a couple of lay-ups down the stretch,” McKnight said. “We attempted 21 free throws and made 10. I’m still proud of my team. They did a great job. They had a great run.”

Lyric Warner and Makenzie Watson led Vidalia with 10 points apiece. Mamou was led by M. Fontenot with a game-high 14 points while C. Verzas and K. Young added nine points apiece.

The Lady Demons won the game despite not making a single three-pointers. And they had more than their fair share of opportunities to get those to drop.

“We knew they had two players who could shoot the three and two who could attack the basket. We did a good job (defending the three),” McKnight said. “They attempted 20, 25 threes and made none of them.”

At one point in the second half, Vidalia cut the lead down to two points. Yet the Lady Vikings could not get over the hump.

“We’re not used to that playoff atmosphere. They (Mamou) brought their fans with them. They brought their sixth man. But our future looks bright,” McKnight said.

Vidalia will lose three players off this year’s team — Kiara Washington, Ella-Grace Smith, and Sarah Freeman. McKnight noted that Washington was the only senior who had been with the Lady Vikings for two years.

However, she added that the Warner, Watson, and Chesney Williams will be back next season

“I have three seniors, but my younger players are my best players. I have Lyric, Chesney, and Makenzie returning. And they’re starters,” McKnight said.

The Lady Vikings finished with an overall record of 18-9 — their best record in over two decades.