Vikings Pull Away In OT To Advance Past Athens

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In a tight match up of four versus five, the Vinton County Vikings took on the Athens Bulldogs in an exhilarating match up at Logan High School for the section title, and what a game it was.

These two teams met earlier in the season, splitting a win a piece.  The first game Vinton County took the W with an 11-point win at Vinton County High School.

In the next match up against these two rivals the Bulldogs hosted the Vikings and came away with a three-point victory.

However, none of that matters in the postseason.

In a first half battle of the defenses, Vinton County found themselves up by only five points at the end of the half with a score of 28-23. Athens held the Yates brothers to a combined 11 points.

Eli Chubb lead the charge for the Bulldogs with seven points and three boards.

Coming out of the locker room Naylan Yates kicked his game into high gear and dropped 10 points in less than six minutes.

As the third quarter came to a close Vinton County found themselves up 46-38 with the largest lead of the game, eight points.

Athens may have been down, but they were far from out.  The Bulldogs put together one of the most electrifying comebacks their fans have ever seen.

The bulldogs fought back out of the trenches and answered every single one of Vinton County’s buckets with one of their own and then some.

With 16.6 seconds left in regulation, the bulldogs tied the game at 58 points apiece.  After a dangerous turnover by Micah Saltzman on the Athens inbound with 3 seconds on the clock, Naylan Yates missed the chance to put the dagger in the heart of the Bulldogs.

With the game clock reset for overtime, Naylan Yates found his second wind and did not look back.

Naylan started the scoring off for his team with a 6-0 run.

But Speakman would be the one to put the dagger in the Bulldogs, ending the game and state title hopes by the score of 69-60.

With five total scorers for the Vikings, Naylan Yates recorded 24 points followed by Jake Speakman’s 22.

Eli Chubb led the Athens scorers with 12 points and six rebounds.

Vinton County will play the winner of number one seeded Fairland and number eight Hillsboro.

Even though Athens season over, not all hope is lost for the future of Bulldogs basketball.  Only losing three players after this year, four of their five starters will be making a return to the court in hopes of making another title run.