Bartoe, Vinton County Dismantle Athens

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It does not matter where you start, it matters where you finish. For the first-place Vinton County Vikings, they proved why they are the powerhouse of the TVC-Ohio with their convincing 85-52 win over the Athens Bulldogs.

For the first quarter, the Viking fans were holding their breath as the Bulldogs had a 16-14 lead after a back-and-forth start.

The second quarter saw Vinton County regain the lead, and it was all over for Athens from there. Naylan Yates hit a three-point buzzer beater to increase the Vikings lead to 12 points going into the locker room.

Coming out of the locker room, the Bulldogs did not have the same intensity and the fire in their eyes as they did when the game first started.

Star Tristan Bartoe and Yates took over the game from the start of the second half to the final buzzer.

The two were lights out from the field and the Bulldogs had no answers to stop the duo. Bartoe was 11-14 from the field, 4-4 from three-point land, and 11-13 from the free-throw line. Bartoe finished with 37 points. Yates had very similar numbers, he was 11-14 from the field and finished with 24 points.

Despite the score being lopsided, what gave the Vikings the advantage was when Griffin Lutz got his fourth foul of the game with 4 minutes and 40 seconds left in the third quarter. Lutz sat the rest of the quarter and Vinton County outscored Athens, 28-12 in the quarter alone.

In fact, Vinton County outscored Athens, 48-27 in the second half.

Lutz finished the game with 10 points.

Vinton County returns to action Tuesday when the Vikings travel to out-of-conference foe Jackson.

As for Athens, the Bulldogs return to the hardwood the Tuesday when they travel to Pomeroy to take on the Meigs Marauders.