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|Vikings advance to Top 28|
Port Allen's basketball team may still be looking for the number of the license plate that hit them at Vidalia High Friday night.
It was a total blitzkrieg as the Vikings dominated the Pelicans 100-42 in a Class 3A quarterfinal contest that advanced Vidalia to the Top 28 Tournament in Lafayette at the Cajundome.
Second-seeded Vidalia will face No. 3 Patterson today (Wednesday) at 8 p.m.
The winner faces the winner of top-rated Plaquemine and No. 4 Richwood.
Until Friday night, no team had scored more than 80 points on Port Allen.
Vidalia High head coach Robert Sanders said his team had some extra incentive when Port Allen came in early to warm up and was using the entire court up until 30 minutes before tip-off.
"We let them have 10 more minutes," Sanders said. "But that really got our guys pumped up. And I think they looked at our size and was a little overconfident."
Vidalia jumped out to a 8-2 lead as Torrey Dixon scored six of Vidalia's first eight points.
"I just wanted us to get to the Dome," Dixon said. "That's been our main goal all year."
Port Allen pulled to within 11-9 before the Vikings scored the next 12 points as Jacob McGraw scored off a rebound, Quartell Thomas hit two baskets and Gary Stewart rebounded a shot at the buzzer to give the Vikings the 14-point lead.
"We knew if we would be patient, we could score," Sanders said.
Rolandin Webster came off the bench and hit three straight 3-pointers to increase the Viking lead to 38-14.
"I was feeling good about my shot," Webster said. "It was like being in a zone and it was a beautiful zone."
"Rolandin was the hot guy," Sanders said. "Unfortunately we got away from him a little after that and he cooled off."
Port Allen cut the lead to 42-26. Two D.J. Polk free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining gave Vidalia a 44-27 advantage at intermission.
The Pelicans got within 52-38 with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter, a basket by Stewart, 3-pointer by Thomas and basket by Dixon was followed by two free throws from Thomas to push the Vikings back to a 61-40 advantage.
A basket by Thomas at the buzzer gave the Vikings a 63-44 advantage going into the final period.The only drama left in the final period was if Vidalia would reach the century mark.
Quan Riley sank two free throws with 33 seconds remaining to put the Vikings in triple digits.
Thomas led the way with 23 points, while Dixon added 22. Stewart finished with 17, while Webster netted 15.
Patterson, 25-4, defeated Winnfield 70-67 in the quarterfinals. The Lumberjacks' only district loss was to Franklin High.
"We've been playing pretty good right now," said fourth-year Patterson head coach Ryan Taylor. "We''ve got four seniors who give us a good bit of experience. We just have to go out and play as hard as we can."
Patterson is led by guard Terrance Johnson, who is averaging 13.5 points.
Kenny Hilliard, the nephew of former Patterson, LSUand New Orleans Saint standout running back Dalton Hilliard, is a forward on the team.
Vidalia defeated Patterson last summer at the Louisiana College basketball camp.
"Vidalia is very athletic," Taylor said. "We were able to see them at the camp at Louisiana College and I am sure they've gotten better as the season has gone on. They have a very aggressive defense and shot the ball well. It's going to be a challenge for us. We have to hit some shots or get some stops early. They are very explosive. Hopefully we can get our feet under ourselves early."
Patterson, which won the state championship in 1998, lost to Wossman in the second round last year.
Vidalia, which won its only boys basketball state championship in 1979, advanced to the Top 28 Tournament in 2003, losing to Red River in the semifinals.
"The last time we went down there our first game was Monday night, three days after the quarterfinals, and we didn't really have time to come down from an emotional high," Sanders said. "We didn't get a chance to feel the atmosphere. We're going down a night early this year and get a better feel of things and hopefully be more successful."
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