This is the second of 22 stories counting down the top 21 games in Robert Sanders career as head boys basketball coach at Vidalia High.

Sanders retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

Sanders began coaching at Vidalia in 1991 and compiled a 476-336, advancing to the state championship game in 2009 before leading the Vikings to the Class 3A state championship in 2010.

At No. 21 is a second-round playoff loss to North Central in March of 1997.

Vidalia was coming off a tough win over Jonesboro-Hodge in the first round, but fell to North Central 64-58.

After the win over Jonesboro-Hodge, star Viking guard Prentis Jenkins had to go to the Natchez hospital for severe cramps.

Jenkins started against North Central, but in the third quarter had to leave the game because of cramps.

"We probably could have won that game with a healthy Prentis," Sanders said. "Our guys competed, but we just couldn't answer their offensive output.

Jenkins finished with 11 points.

"Against Jonesboro-Hodge it was very hot in that gym and they were very aggressive and physical," Jenkins said. "That was a tough week and a tough game against North Central. I tried to rest up and do everything I did during football to get ready, but it was only less than a week. That first half took a toll on me."

Jenkins, who now lives and works in Houston, Texas, was an All-State football player and originally signed a football scholarship with LSU before attending Holmes (Ms.) Community College and University of Central Oklahoma.

Vidalia led North Central 35-31, but could only manage 10 points in the third quarter without Jenkins. Eric Whitley led the Vikings with 12 points.

"I lost quite a few games because of illnesses and injuries," Sanders said.

 

  

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