Updated Wed, Feb 12, 2014 1:44 am
The Vikings had the ball down two points with 19.4 seconds left, but failed to get a shot off. When the buzzer sounded, Gallia Academy emerged victorious over Vinton County (10-7, 6-2) 54-52.
Tuesday night’s game looked like an easy Vinton County win on senior night when they took a 34-24 lead into halftime, but Gallia Academy opened the second half on an 18-1 run to gain the lead, a lead the Blue Devils never surrendered. The Vikings didn’t make a field goal in the second half until 1:17 left in the third.
“The third quarter was a train wreck. We got physically knocked around tonight,” Vinton County head coach Matt Combs said. “It was a really physical game and Gallia handled it better than we did.”
Late in the fourth, Jordan Albright tied the game up at 51 for Vinton County with 1:06 remaining in the game, but Gallia Academy’s Reid Eastman hit a quick runner to regain the lead, 53-51. After each team went 1 of 2 from the line, the Vikings’ Alex Owings’ three fell short. Vinton County’s Jordan Albright got the offensive rebound and passed to Tristin Bartoe, an undersized freshman, who attempted to put up a game-tying shot in traffic, but failed.
Gallia Academy was paced by a balanced attack that featured Alex White with 12 points and 6 rebounds, Wes Jarrell with 11 points, and three players with 9 points each. The Blue Devils outrebounded the Vikings 32-26, largely due to having 6-foot-7 Jacob Strieter down low. Strieter, a sophomore, pulled down 8 rebounds. Despite going 3 for 12 from the free throw line, the Blue Devils were able to escape with the victory.
The Vikings had three players in double-digits on Tuesday. Chase Wood had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Albright had 11 points and Owings chipped in with 10 points. Vinton County was plagued by poor shooting and missed opportunities; they shot just 38 percent from the floor.
Vinton County concludes their regular season on Friday when they travel to Wellston.