Vinton County Bounces Back With Blowout Win Over Meigs

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It took a nail biting loss to a massive underdog at home Tuesday night for the Vinton County Vikings to realize that the road to the Tri-Valley Conference title was a lot tougher than the year before. After the shocking loss, the Vikings would be challenged mentally and physically to prove they were still capable of ruling their division.

Vinton County proved Friday night on the road, in hostile territory that they were willing protect its back-to-back TVC-Ohio crown by any means necessary.

The Vikings 65-47 dismantling of Meigs will be known to Marauders fans as the night they were unlucky enough to play the Vikings with a “chip on their shoulder.”

“We knew since Athens beat them the night before they were gonna come in with a chip on their shoulder, which was bad for us” Meigs’ head coach Ed Fry said. “They are a very good team, well-coached, great athletes the whole package.”

It would take the entire package for the Vikings to prevail over Meigs. Vinton County started off flat, missing its first five three-pointers due to Meigs’ disciplined zone that denied the Vikings from entering the paint.

“Their (Meigs) zone is tough.” Vinton star forward Naylan Yates said. “It’s very strategic and it was hard to move the ball around on them.”

Yates had a rough first quarter going 2-9 but he solved the Meig’s defense and finished with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

The Marauders gave Vinton County all it could handle in the first. Meigs’ super sophomores Weston Baer (8 points, 4 rebounds) and Bobby Musser (17 points, 14 rebounds) put the team on their backs combining for 25 of Meigs’ 47 points and scoring all of Meigs’ first half points.

The Marauders played a solid game and never backed down from Vinton County, but the Meigs’ (4-11) youth and lack of depth caused itself a plethora of problems in the second and third quarters.

“We turned the ball over a whole lot and by people who don’t usually turn the ball over,” Fry said. “First half we were 7-31 but you also have to give them (Vikings) a lot of credit.”

Vinton County took over the game in the middle quarters by outscoring the Marauders 51-21. Senior point guard, Jake Speakman lit up the Marauders on both ends of the court. He finished with 17 points, four assists, three steals and only one turnover.  

Despite the blowout win, the Vikings (10-5) only played solid basketball for two quarters. They struggled in the first and were outscored 16-4 in the fourth, showing some consistency issues.

“We have a pretty good team but we need to be more consistent,” Vinton County coach Matt Combs said. “We didn’t play very well the other night but its behind us now and we needed to bounce back on a tough road win.”

The Vikings will continue their hunt for a third consecutive TVC-Ohio title when they face New Hope Jan. 30th. While Meigs’ looks forward to a stretch of winnable games, starting with Point on Monday.

“We have some winnable games coming up in our schedule if we play well” Fry said. “We started 0-9 but we can finish strong… never in my 36 years of coaching have I had a team go through so much adversity but now we’ve got a group that’s gonna stay together and get better.”