Vinton County Lady Vikings: Dec. 28- Jan. 3

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The Vinton County Lady Vikings (11-3, 4-1) are having a season to remember in McArthur, however its seven game winning streak came to an end on Saturday.

The Lady Vikings started the week strong, with a Dec. 28 stomping on the Federal Hocking Lady Lancers (1-10, 0-4) 71-33.

Vinton County was hitting on all cylinders in the contest with four players having double digit scoring numbers. Seniors Jalen Hale and Michaela Puckett both scored 14 points each and accounted for 28 of the teams 71 points. All but three Lady Vikings who dressed in the contest scored.

As a team the Lady Vikings shot 77 percent from behind the strip and had the best performance of their season.

Dec. 30 Vinton County continued the momentum back at home for a non-conference 54-30 win over the Jackson Ironladies.

At the end of the first quarter Vinton County held a 14-9 lead and then the Lady Vikings ran away with the game in the remaining three quarters.

Puckett only had 2 points in the first half but the rest of the team answered the call. Head coach Rod Bentley said her performance spoke to her ability to be a team player.

“I think it shows the unselfishness of Michaela Puckett, she is a special player and she ultimately puts the team first,” Bentley said.

Senior Hannah Radabaugh was electric the entire night from behind the arch. She put on a clinic in the first half shooting four 3-pointers.

“I think we are one of the deepest teams in the area,” Bentley commented. “Obviously Michaela (Puckett) and Hale are excellent players, but we have got some kids that can really shoot it around the parameter and they work real hard at it.”

Rebekah Green was the only shinning light on the evening for Jackson as she tallied 18 of the teams 33 points.

Hale had an outstanding defensive performance scrapping multiple loose balls, forcing countless jump balls and blocking anything and everything that came her way.

“I personally think that Jalen Hale is the best defender in southern Ohio, I think she’s got all of the tools and in fact I think she is going to play at the next level in college just because she can play defense,” Bentley added.

The Lady Vikings’ win streak came to an end Jan. 2 against Circleville (10-2). Vinton County suffered a close 45-42 loss.

At beginning of the fourth quarter the Lady Vikings trailed 35-28. Hale came out of the break and started a 12-0 run to start the quarter. Ten of the 12 points on the run were all courtesy of Hale.

Vinton County held a 40-35 lead until there was 2:48 remaining in the quarter and Hale fouled out of the contest with 21 points.

Circleville had a 10-2 run of its own, taking advantage of Hale being on the bench in the closing minutes.

“We have got to become more disciplined,” Bentley said. “We preach boxing-out but for some reason we are missing that being a bold statement and until we become a disciplined team we are going to have chances to lose like that.”