Yates Brothers Combine For 56 Points To Propel Vikings

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For Naylan and Nevan Yates getting buckets is a family business.

On Tuesday night, business was booming.

The brothers combined for 56 points in Vinton County’s 83-71 win over Miami Trace on Tuesday night.

“I had a bunch of good looks,” Nevan Yates said. “It was a nice night.”

The Vikings scored their second-highest amount of points this season despite its leading scorer, Jake Speakman, sitting out due to injury. Speakman injured his tailbone in a win over Nelsonville-York on Feb 9.

Combs said that Speakman didn’t practice all week. Speakman, the teams leading scorer and primary ball-handler, accessed his recovery at 60%, but is confident that he will return to the court on Friday.

With the win, Vinton County (14-7,9-2) defeated the Panthers for the first time since 2015. Viking Head Coach Matt Combs earned his 301st win. The school honored Combs for his 300th win prior to the game.

“You coach long enough you’ll run into a few,” Combs said. “It’s be a great community to coach in these past 18 years.”

The victory over Miami Trace didn’t come easy. In the first half, Vinton County struggled to pull away from the Panthers despite Nevan Yates’ four first quarter 3-pointers. Miami Trace was able to respond to Yates’ range by driving to the basket and picking up easy buckets.   

Coming out of the half, Vinton County experimented with its depth and pushed the pace. Junior forward, Cam Hamon, complimented the Yates scoring with 16 points of his own.

“Cam really stepped up tonight,” Naylan Yates said. “It’s a next man up mentality.”  

Vinton County’s mindset was exactly where it needed to be with a three-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Naylan Yates took over the game and scored eight of his 30 points in the last five minutes. The Vikings held down the paint and forced the Panthers into bad looks at the basket. Miami Trace battled to the final buzzer but Cameron Carters’ 25 points wasn’t enough.

This game would be the last in McArthur for the 2018 senior class but they do not have time to be emotional. The playoffs are next week and that’s the sole focus for Vinton County.

“We still have work to do.” Yates said     

Vinton County will play its last game of the regular season on Friday at Wellston. Despite Wellston’s 10-10 record the Vikings can’t afford to overlook the Golden Rockets. If they do, they will be forced to share the TVC-Ohio crown with the winner of Friday’s game between Alexander and Athens.

“We hate sharing…we’ll be ready.” Naylan Yates said.