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|Vikings, Trojans miss playoffs|
Vidalia High boys basketball coach Robert Sanders and Ferriday boys basketball coach K.G. Watkins can look at just a couple of games as being the difference in staying home Tuesday night or being on the road for a first round playoff contest.
Vidalia sat at around No. 31 and No. 32 the final couple of weeks of the basketball season in the Class 3A power rankings.
The top 32 teams advance to the playoffs.
But the Vikings ended up No. 34, being passed up by Port Barre, Albany and McMain.
Vidalia finished with 9.94 points, behind Port Barre, which is in the playoffs at 32, with 10.70 points and Albany at 10.03.
Vidalia lost at Avoyelles 51-48 and lost to Caldwell by two points at home and two points at Caldwell and a controversial call and another controversial non-call had Viking coaches crying foul.
"Either game against Caldwell going the other way may have gotten us in," Sanders said. "I hate it for our seniors. But this is a valuable lessons for the players we have coming back. We have to take care of business during the regular season."
Ferriday ended up No. 33, one spot away from the playoffs. The Trojans finished a fraction behind No. 32 Kinder, which had 9.01 power points to Ferriday's 8.83.
"That's really tough to take," Watkins said.
The Trojans were at No. 37 going into the final week.
Ferriday played one of its worst games of the season in a 49-43 loss to Lake Providence and had a 47-44 loss to Northwood-Lena. They also had the lead late in two district contests, including in a 79-68 loss to Sterlington.
The most discouraging part for Watkins is that the Trojans were playing their best basketball at the end of the season.
"We were just starting to come together and play well," Watkins said. "I really would have liked to have had that shot with the way we were playing."
Ferriday also lost three games to bigger Mississippi schools, which would have still given them points if they had been Louisiana schools.
"We lost to Natchez there, in the Vidalia tournament and two Jefferson County," Watkins said. "We got absolutely nothing out of that. We would have had a better chance of picking up power points playing in-state schools. That was a waste. It's frustrating and I really hate it for my seniors."
Vidalia played Jefferson County in a regular season game and in the Miss-Lou Tournament.
"We're going to have to dial that back and just play them in the tournament," Sanders said.
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