VHS goes 2-0 in tourney; Jefferson named MVP

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Varnado Wildcats’ boys basketball team headed into Saturday’s final day of the Dexter Christmas Tournament at 2-0.

Saturday night’s games between the Wildcats and Dexter Bulldogs were canceled because of two tornado warnings during the South Pike and Wesson girls contest.

Varnado’s boys edged Wesson, 77-74.

The Wildcats took a seven-point lead in the first quarter, but Wesson came back to get to within a point late in the third quarter. Varnado made 10 3-pointers that helped them overcome Wesson’s scoring in the paint. D.J. Jefferson led Varnado with a game-high 33 points. 

Delrick Abrams finished with 11, and Nick Darden had 10 for the Wildcats.

Isaiah Alexander finished with nine, and James Williams had eight.

In the Wildcats’ match against previously undefeated Salem, Varnado got past Salem, 65-64.

Alexander had just two points, but they were big.

Down 64-63, Alexander knocked down two free throws with 13 seconds left to give the Wildcats the 65-64 lead, the margin they won by.

Abrams had a solid game, going for 24 points.

Jefferson wasn’t far behind with 19 points.

Darden finished up with nine points in the victory.

Salem was held to just one 3-point basket.

Varnado coach Brad Oestriecher praised his club on the tournament.

“We beat two quality teams, who probably had us outsized and were very athletic. Salem was 9-0. They had us down by nine with 2 1/2 minutes to play and we battled back. I thought it was a good test for us, and we were able to pass the test.,” Oestriecher said.

Jefferson was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“D.J. has really come into his own this year. He’s matured as a player and as a leader,” said Oestriecher.

Dexter coach Steven Fortenberry praised Jefferson as he said Jefferson is one of the area’s stellar point guards.