Defensive Battle Benefits Vinton County

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Facing each other for the second time in six days, the Alexander Spartans welcomed the Vinton County Vikings into their home Friday night. The Vikings spoiled Alexander’s homecoming by beating them in a defensive matchup 39-36.

Vinton County head coach Matt Combs knew that coming into this game it would be a tough rematch. “I know their coaches and I know how competitive they are,” Combs said. “I guarantee they didn’t get off the bus [last week] before they started talking about this game.”

At first, Alexander’s game plan for revenge seemed to be working as they held Vinton County to just five points in the first quarter. However, Alexander was only able to manage six first quarter points of their own.

At the half, the two teams combined for 18 total fouls. Because of the foul trouble for both teams, the game remained close and low scoring, as the score going into halftime was 17-14, with Vinton County holding the slim lead.

The second half proved to be the better offensive half for both teams, but their foul troubles still plagued them into the final minutes. Alexander and Vinton County were trading fouls between the two of them, and Combs knew that foul shots almost led to the Vikings’ downfall. “What almost beat us was free throws,” Combs said. “I guess at the end of the game we had a couple big plays. Ryan Slopko hit his three in the corner and Alex Owings stepped up as a senior and made a couple big plays.”

Vinton County does not have to wait long for their next game, and will hit the road to take on Meigs on Saturday.

The Spartans will look to end their two-game skid when they host Crooksville at home on Jan. 28.