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|Vidalia upends Jena|
Vidalia High almost ran Jena out of the gym in the first quarter of the Class 3A first round contest Friday in Vidalia, but turnovers and missed free throws kept the Vikings from dominating the entire game as the Vikings defeated the Giants, 57-40 to advance to the second round.
"We got sloppy," said Vidalia coach Robert Sanders. "We have to find that killer instinct."
Vidalia scored the first eight points of the game with Eric Bell flipping a behind the back pass to Torrey Dixon for a dunk highlighting the early run.
Davante Wallace put the Giants on the board with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Quatrell Thomas put Vidalia up 17-2.
Vidalia led 20-2 at the end of the period.
But Vidalia's student section which is self-named "Sanders Souldjas" would not be able to relax until the final buzzer in this one.
The tempo slowed a bit in the second quarter as Vidalia led 28-8 with six minutes remaining.
A basket by Wallace cut the lead to 30-13 with 2:29 remaining.
Deandre Wallace was fouled attempting a half-court shot at the buzzer and made two of three free throws as the Giants trailed 30-15 at halftime.
The Giants cut the Viking lead to 33-26 over the first three minutes of the third quarter, but Vidalia answered with an 11-0 run to go back up by 18.
"We had a couple of huge turnovers that cost us an opportunity to keep it close," Lewis said. "That and the missed free throws broke our backs."
The Giants were unable to threaten the remainder of the game.
Jena was led by Devante Wallace with 14 points and Darren Brown with 10.
"Davante showed great leadership all year long," Lewis said.
Dixon led Vidalia with 15 points while Gary Stewart scored 13 and Rolandin Webster tallied 10.
"Vidalia has a good team and they should make it to the Top 28," said Jena coach Heath Lewis.
Vidalia advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over Crowley on Tuesday and will now face Port Allen with the winner advancing to the Top 28.
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