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|Vidaila falls to Richwood in finals|
Richwood High School answered Vidalia High's rally Saturday, holding off the Vikings 75-61 in the Class 3A State Championship Game in Lafayette.
The Vikings suffered a tough shooting night from the field and Vidalia turnovers in the second quarter turned into a Richwood dunkfest.
But the Vikings rallied in the second half, cutting the Ram lead to four points three times in the final period.
Torrey Dixon led Vidalia with 18 points, hitting 8-of-11 field goals and both free throw attempts.
The remainder of the Vikings were 13-of-46 from the field and 14-of-23 from the free throw line.
"We weren't hitting our shots the way we were against Patterson in the semifinals," said Vidalia coach Robert Sanders. "We dug ourselves a hole, but I was proud of the way our guys fought back. Richwood had a lot of motivation, having lost in the finals to Wossman last year.
"They've been there three out of the last four years," Sanders said.
Richwood went up 3-0 on its first possession as Keldric Martin, son of Richwood head coach Terry Martin and brother to LSU senior Terry Martin Jr., hit a basket from beyond the arc.
Torrey Dixon, who finished 8-of-11 from the field, kept the Vikings close throughout the period as Richwood led 17-15 at the end of the first period.
Three Viking turnovers led to a 12-3 run by Richwood and two more turnovers turned into two of eight dunks by LaDon Carter as the Rams went up 35-20 with 3:54 remaining in the first half.
A rebound basket by Carter at the buzzer gave Richwood a 39-25 halftime advantage.
Richwood went up 41-25 early in the third period before Vidalia closed the lead to 45-35 with 3:30 remaining in the third period on a basket by Dixon.
A 3-pointer by Gary Stewart pull the Vikings to within 47-38.
Quartrell Thomas hit a jumper to make the score 47-40. Richwood maintained that seven-point lead at 49-42 at the end of the period.
Richwood pushed the lead back up to nine early in the final quarter before two 3-pointers by Thomas cut the Ram lead to 58-54 with 4:33 remaining in the game.
Richwood pushed the lead back to eight, but two baskets by Stewart pulled Vidalia to within 62-58 with 3:01 remaining.
A steal by Carter and basket by Rydell Harris put Richwood up 66-58 with 2:19 to play.
Stewart pulled Vidalia to within 66-60 with 2:02 remaining.
Vidalia missed its next two offensive opportunities and was forced to rush its shots and foul the remainder of the game as the Rams made its final six shots from the charity stripe to pull away in the final minute.
Dixon led Vidalia with 18 points, while Stewart added 15 and Thomas 14. Jacob McGraw, who was 6-of-8 from the free throw line, netted 10.
Carter led Richwood with 19 points.
Vidalia finished the season at 30-2. Vikings playing their final game were Jacob McGraw, Rolandin Webster, Cassius Clay and Chip Davis.
"Those guys weren't our leading scorers, but they all had roles and they will be hard to replace," Sanders said.
Sanders said he will try and schedule bigger teams, but that's not always easy to do with those schools so far away.
"We actually tried to play Wossman and Richwood this past season but their principals wanted them to play each other to make more money so they turned us down," Sanders said. "We have talked to Tensas Parish about playing in their tournament and they have told us they are going to try and match us up with Madison and Carroll. Franklin Parish said they will cooperate the same way."
Sanders said the toughest part about next season is for his players not to look too far ahead.
"We have to keep focused on what is right in front of us," he said.
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