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|Excitement returns to Viking gym|
The high school playoffs are still a couple of weeks away.
Anyone watching the Vidalia-Marksville boys basketball game in Vidalia Tuesday night could have sworn they started then.
Even Sanders Souljas were in top form for the occasion.
Of course, when Vidalia is playing Marksville it doesn't take much to turn up the emotion meter.
But there were plenty of emotions going around Tuesday night.
The game itself warranted the gym to be rocking and rolling on its own.
Marksville has a young team, but a very good team led by Kyren Ford, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, who is averaging close to 35 points a game for the Tigers. Ford scorched the nets for 45 points against the Vikings.
Ford has a sweet jump shot and showed he can shoot from all different kinds of angles. He is very athletic and can take over a game in a heartbeat.
Vidalia took a slight lead late in the game after a 3-point shot by Jamon Duson gave Vidalia a four-point lead and A.J. Bell was fouled underneath on the play.
But after a long discussion and officials walking from one end of the floor to the other, Marksville was given the ball out of bounds.
Three Marksville players fouled out late in the game, which had Marksville head coach Chris Dupuy liviid with the officials.
I was standing next to Vidalia policeman Charlie Ferguson, who leaned over to me with about five minutes remaining in the game and told me he felt something was brewing.
Ferguson watched Dupuy closely and saw the coach become angrier and angrier and the Marksville fans behind him become more vocal. He positioned several officers around the court, signaling with a flashlight for those on the other end to space out more.
And, sure enough, it happened.
After Vidalia turned the ball over with five seconds remaining, Marksville was throwing the ball in from under the Viking goal, trailing 85-83.
But a Tiger player was called for a foul on the in-bounds pass, leading to Marksville High head coach Chris Dupuy having to be restrained by Vidalia police after receiving a technical and charging the court to confront the official.
Dupuy and his assistant coach were then escorted off the floor by several Vidalia police officers.
After play was resumed several minutes later, Vidalia threw the ball in bounds and ran out the clock. Both teams stood around for a few seconds before shaking hands. Dupuy shook hands and hugged Viking coaches Sanders and Damus Smith before heading to the locker room.
In Dupuy's defense, it was a tough loss and they could have clinched the district title with a win. HIs guys battled hard and his frustration grew each time one of his players was forced to the bench after fouling out.
He did tell Sanders after the game that his actions were no reflection on the Vidalia basketball team.
It was a shame the game had to end like that because it was a classic battle. To Dupuy's credit, he did regain his composure after calling his team together.
But I hate to think what might have happened if Ferguson and his cohorts did not act as quickly as they did.
Sure, there were bad calls against Marksville. There were also bad calls against Vidalia. D.J. Polk, who was having one of his best games of the season, had to go to the bench at the end of the third quarter with four fouls and sat out most of the final quarter. I've seen it a LOT more one-sided down in Cajun country, in football and basketball.
The two teams will likely meet again in a tiebreaker at a neutral site. You can expect another classic battle. Let's hope the attention stays on the game.
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