Vikings Don’t Like To Share

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Nelsonville York traveled to McArthur Thursday night hoping to steal a share of the 2018 TVC-Ohio title from top ranked Vinton County.

The Lady Buckeyes were able to erase a 14-point deficit, but unable to overcome Cassie Bentley’s game-high 26 points falling to the Vikings 64-55.

With the win, Vinton County (17-1,11-0) secured its first outright conference championship since 2008. The Vikings were forced to share with Alexander and Nelsonville York in 2012 and 2016.

“We don’t share, I don’t like to share we aren’t in to it,” Vinton County coach Rod Bentley said.

The Lady Vikings came out with intentions of burying Nelsonville York (13-6, 8-2)  early. Vinton County jumped out to an early lead thanks to Cassie Bentley’s seven first-quarter rebounds and the team dropping four 3-pointers.

Nelsonville York responded to Vinton County’s high volume scoring with 3-pointers of their own, shooting four-for-10 from outside the arc. However, the Lady Buckeyes inability to score inside the arc, shooting an abysmal 8-29 in the first half, was the main reason for Nelsonville York’s 35-21 deficit.

Nelsonville York and Vinton County have a history of back-and- forth games and tonight was no  different. Vinton County’s grip on the crown loosened with each one of it’s seven third quarter turnovers.

Lady Buckeye guard Jessie Addis slowly led her team back into the game with her ability to jump passing lanes and finish on the fast break. She finished with 19 points and five steals.

“Jessie’s a phenomenal player and she’s gonna get hers.” Rod Bentley said. “We just tried to make every possession for her hard.”

Fortunately for Addis, she had help on both ends of the court. Junior Mary Kate McCullough ( 12 points, six rebounds) and Sophomore Haley Hurd (11 points,14 rebounds)  were the spark the Buckeyes needed in the third, and the reason why Vinton County’s lead was cut to three entering the final stanza.

With the momentum fading, emotions climbed for both teams. Vinton County however kept focused and delivered the killing blows in the form of Darian Radabaugh and Josie Ousley’s back-to-back 3-pointers.

“That felt great!” Bentley said. “That’s just this team man, they just keep finding ways to keep grinding it.”

With time expiring, the tears, both of joy and sadness came out. Vinton County had the pleasure of cutting down its net it front of its hometown fans and Rod Bentley, usually a stoic intense man embraced the team he took from middle of the pack to outright conference champions.

“We’re so blessed, no I’m so blessed to have a group of girls this special and a good team. It’s been a lot of fun,”Bentley said.

The fun doesn’t have to stop for Vinton County. The Vikings are back in action against Marietta on Monday Dec.5. While Nelsonville York must recover and prepare for rival Alexander.