Gents fall to No. 2 seed Vidalia

By Chris Quebedeaux

SPORTS EDITOR

VIDALIA – Things went bad from the start and just snowballed for the Crowley Gents Tuesday in their regional playoff game against Class AAA’s No. 2 seed Vidalia.

The Gents committed 19 turnovers and missed 16 shots under the goal that led to a 77-44 blowout loss in front of a packed house at the Vikings’ home gym.

“We didn’t do anything that we had practiced,” said CHS coach Derrick Boone of his team’s performance. “This was the worst basketball game that we have played this season. Our mental focus was off, we had no hustle and we just played with no heart today.”

Vidalia coach Robert Sanders was also a bit surprised by the final margin of victory.

“I wasn’t really expecting a game like this, I really wasn’t,” said Sanders. “I was expecting a much closer game.”

The game was close early with Crowley even grabbing the lead twice in the first quarter before Vidalia took a 14-11 advantage at the end of the period.

Crowley kept it within five points until the Vikings outscored the Gents 9-6 in the final three minutes of the second quarter to take a 33-25 advantage into the break.

Crowley aided in Vidalia’s lead by missing 12 layups in the first half.

“We missed so many layups tonight and that really hurt us,” said Boone. “We blew at least 20 points on missed layups and you can’t do that and expect to win.”

Vidalia broke the game open in the third quarter when Crowley switched from a zone defense to a man-to-man defense. The Vikings went on an 11-0 run in the first three minutes of the second half before taking a 58-35 cushion into the fourth.

“We heard that when they (Crowley) fall behind they like to go to a man defense and that’s to our advantage when they do that,” said Sanders.

It was definitely to Quartell Thomas’ advantage. The Vikings’ star forward reeled off 16 of his game-high 28 points during Vidalia’s 25-10 outburst in the third quarter.

“The plan was to slow the game down tonight but as it went on we found that it was to our advantage to go faster so that’s what we tried to do.”

That up-tempo style of play led to another run in the fourth quarter. The Vikings scored 14 straight points to open the frame before Crowley hit its first shot.

“This is the playoffs and you have to come out with your A game every night,” said Boone. “When you match up well with a team and the score is what it was tonight, jitters had nothing to do with it. It was a lack of effort. We had no hustle and we didn’t block out. It seemed like we forgot the basics of basketball tonight.”

Crowley’s Michael Harmon was the lone Gent in double figures with 13 points. Jerrell Andrus added eight points, Tevin Barker scored six and Dexter Scott scored five.

Therion Beverly added four points while Michael Milson, Thedrick Mouton and Akeem Dugar each scored two.

Thomas led a trio of Vikings in double figures with 28 points. Torrey Dixon added 18 points and Gary Stewart scored 15.

The Gents finished the season with an overall mark of 21-10, making the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1998.

“We did have a good year, I just wish it could have lasted a little longer,” said Boone.

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