This is the 13th of 22 stories counting down the top 22 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. 10 is Vidalia's comeback district overtime win at Marksville on February 3, 2009.

"Marksville was always a tough place to get a win," Sanders said. "Their crowds were always into it, and we didn't always get the 50-50 calls. That win for huge for us, especially having to come back."

And that seemed to be the case early.

Vidalia trailed the Tigers 18-16 after one period, and 45-29 at halftime.

"It was always tough playing anywhere in Avoyelles Parish," said Viking post player Torrey Dixon. "We were the newcomer to the district. They came out determined to play rough. There were some blatant fouls that weren't called. When we got home, we were all exhausted."

The Vikings were whistled for 28 fouls, with Gary Stewart fouling out early in the fourth quarter -- the first time he had ever fouled out of a game.

"That was a very tough place to play," Stewart said. "We really had to grind to win that one. But that game really helped prepare us for the playoffs."

Vidalia outscored Marksville 46-30 in the second half to send the District 3-3A contest in overtime.

Quan Riley fouled out in overtime and Quartrell Thomas and Rolandin Webster finished with four fouls each.

Thomas hit his first 3-pointer of the night with five seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.

The Vikings outscored the Tigers 15-11 in overtime.

Thomas led the Vikings with 20 points, while Stewart and Dixon added 18 points each. 

Webster and Jacob McGraw both netted 10.

Vidalia lost in the Class 3A championship game to Richwood. 

The Vikings won it all a year later.


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