Vinton County Wins in Overtime Thriller

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It was Michaela Puckett night Monday in Vinton County, as Puckett led the Lady Vikings to an emotional 71-69 overtime win over Alexander.

Puckett scored her 1,000 point, made multiple close plays and basically drove her team to victory in a hotly contest game after the Lady Vikings came out lacking in the first and third quarter.

“Words can’t describe it,” Puckett said, through tears, about scoring her 1,000 point. “(But) it was more our team beating Alexander. That’s never happened since my sophomore year. So it’s more about the team win than my thousandth point. We don’t beat Alexander everyday.”

Alexander led 20-7 after the opening eight minutes, relying on the Lady Vikings inability to get things started on offense and the Lady Spartans finding multiple holes in Vinton County’s defense.

But the Lady Vikings picked it up late on, forcing the Lady Spartans into multiple turnovers via a full-court press, pressuring Alexander’s primary ball handlers and keeping their hands up during inbounds passes.

And once Jala Mace got a technical foul for a confrontation with Jalen Hale midway through the fourth, Vinton County really starting pushing the Lady Spartans.

Hale ended up fouling out late in the fourth, but this wouldn’t turn out like the Circleville game did a week ago.

Puckett headed up the Lady Vikings’ offense, driving to the hoop and nailing contested 3s to keep Vinton County in the game. And once she got her 1,000 point, the momentum was fairly in the Lady Vikings’ favor.

Even when Leah Richardson hit the shot that sent the two teams into OT, Bentley and Puckett never looked fazed.

And when Richardson missed the chance to send the game into a second overtime, the Vinton County gym exploded into a cacophony of cheers, tears and wild screaming.

“It’s actually funny, we work out together,” Puckett said about Richardson. “Over the summer we play countless minutes together, we do our fall league together, so we knew it was gonna be a battle going back and forth.”

Puckett won that battle, but Lady Vikings’ coach Rod Bentley put the game into perspective.

“I’m mad as hell right now because we should have won it before overtime,” he said. “(But) it’s the best of the best in the area and it was just fun them go at it. … We’re going to enjoy tonight but tomorrow we’re going to get back at it. We got something to take care of at Nelsonville.”

The Lady Vikings return to play Jan. 14 at Nelsonville, hoping to prove their credentials in the TVC-Ohio. The Lady Spartans hosts Meigs on Jan. 14.