VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - For the second straight year, the Vidalia Indians are one of two remaining boys basketball teams left standing in Class AA.
The Indians will play Therrell for the state title Thursday in Macon, and the team says they won’t be overwhelmed by the moment this time around.
In last year’s championship, Thomasville ran past the Indians 66-31. Head coach Tommy Dalley admits Thomasville’s talent caused all kinds of problems for his team.
But he adds the Indians’ handling of the moment didn’t help.
“When you’ve never been there, it’s kind of overwhelming,” Dalley says. “There’s all those folks there, the lights, you kind of have to take a deep breath.”
Vidalia was never able to take that breath last year, as Thomasville jumped out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back.
This time around, Dalley believes his team will be much calmer as they take the Macon Centreplex field for the second time.
“I think they’ve seen that now. They know what to expect,” he says. “Just from that standpoint, the atmosphere won’t shock them to start with.”
The Indians agree with their coach’s assessment of last year’s title game. The players say they might have been too tight heading into the championship.
“Last year, we were just pounding it and pounding it in our head that we’re going to the state championship,” says senior guard Antwell Williams. "We had to get ready. This year we know we have to be ready now.”
Dalley believes his team will be ready. He says he’s really enjoyed the team’s mood and mindset this week.
“As hard as they’ve worked to get back to where they were a year ago and get another shot at a state title, I was just talking to them about how fortunate they are to do this back to back,” Dalley says. “They understand that. They’re enjoying it, but they’re out here working extremely hard to accomplish what they want to accomplish.”
Vidalia and Therrell tip off at 4:00 p,m. from the Macon Centreplex.