This is the seventh 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. 14 is Vidalia’s playoff loss to Notre Dame of Crowley 78-76 in overtime.
The first-round loss left the Vikings with a 13-12 record for the season.
Sanders knew it had the makings of being a long night when Brian Bradford informed him he would miss the game because of a football recruiting visit.
“Brian had already committed to Louisiana Tech, where he would eventually go, but was asked to visit a school where Thad Campbell, who went to school at Vidalia, was coaching,” Sanders said, “I’m sure Thad would have let him come on another time.”
“That was really hard on us, we didn’t find out until that week that Brian wasn’t playing,” said guard Prentis Jenkins. “We were really counting on Brian that year. David (Hueing) had been ruled ineligible because of his birthday, and that kept being discussed back and forth. I had hurt my ankle against Jonesville in the last game of the season. But we really battled hard that game.”
Without Bradford, the Vikings struggled before tying the game up 70-70 at the end of regulation.
Notre Dame outscored Vidalia 8-6 in overtime.
Ernest Taylor led Vidalia with 16 points, Jenkins added 14, while Teddy Hargrave and Brandon Cade scored 12 each.