Vinton County Disappoints In Loss To Chillicothe

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After leaving Alexander last Friday with a overtime win and control of first place in the TVC-Ohio, the Vinton County Vikings were welcomed home Tuesday night by thousands of fans hoping to witness the Vikings defeat non-conference foe Chillicothe.

It was a playoff-like atmosphere as two of Southern Ohio’s best teams were set to face off. It would be a battle of point guards as Vinton County’s Jake Speakman faced  Chillicothe’s Branden Maughmer. According to Vinton County head coach Matt Combs, “It was a disappointment.”

The Vikings have every reason to be disappointed after Chillicothe cruised to a 76-60 victory behind Maughmer’s 30-point performance.  

The loss doesn’t hurt the Vikings (12-6, 8-2) TVC-Ohio title hopes, but it does snap a three-game winning streak. It was also the most points Vinton County has given up since a 84-81 loss to Nelsonville York Dec.8.

“It’s unfortunate on a big floor in front of your home crowd you come out and play flat,” Combs said. “I don’t understand how you could be flat but we were and its upsetting.”

Unlike the Vikings, Chillicothe came out prepared with intentions of muting the home crowd early. The Cavaliers jumped out to a 26-9 lead behind Maughmers ability to drive and kick to open shooters.

While the Cavaliers were thriving shooting the ball the Vikings struggled. Naylan Yates shot 0-of-6 on 3-pointers and the Vikings trailed by 11 entering the half.

With Yates struggling, the Vikings turned to Jake Speakman in the second half and he delivered, scoring 12 points in the third quarter and finishing with 32.

The Vikings matched the Cavaliers point-for-point in the second half but couldn’t overcome its early deficit.

“I thought we battled,” Combs said. “But you can’t have a good team come in here and give them a 16-point lead and expect to win.”

Combs said that the Vikings can’t dwell on the loss, because they finish the week with a rematch with Nelsonville-York.

“If I know my guys, they will be ready to go,” Combs said.