Spartans Battle Off Viking Comeback

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A fourth-quarter shot-for-shot slugfest perfectly wrapped up Alexander’s Friday night game at Vinton County. Although the Spartans clung to the lead the entire game, the Vikings were sure to always nip at their heels, and close the game in dramatic fashion.

The first half was all about Alexander. Once they snatched an early 6-point lead, they never looked back – holding the Vikings at arm’s length the entire half to lead 42-26 by halftime. Highlights for the Spartans on Friday were J.K. Kearns, who scored 13 points with 3 3-pointers, and Dylan Mecam, who scored 12 points.

Vinton County, on the other hand, couldn’t seem to get a handle on the first half. Scoring 26 points, numerous steals, blocked passes and missed shots kept the Vikings struggling to keep up with the Spartans’ stride. Highlights for the Vikings include Eli Griffith, who went 6-6 in attempts scoring 12, and Gavin Arbaugh, who dropped 14 and was 3/3 in free throw attempts.

However, after halftime, the entire court turned on its head. Vinton County was fired up, and came on to the court hunting for a comeback. Dropping 17 points each in the last two quarters, Vikings were on the prowl for blood. Meanwhile, the Spartans had all but stalled in their advance – playing damage control the entire second half to keep the Vikings at bay.

With Vinton County pushing hard with the momentum, Alexander was barely keeping pace, and the 9-point gap was closing fast. Both teams were meeting each other shot-for-shot, but with 1:10 left, Alexander barely clung to a 3-point lead; down from their 16-point lead at the half. Vinton County laid up to make it 61-60 with nine seconds left.

In the end, the Spartans managed to hang on by the skin of their teeth, when a half-court buzzer beater by the Vikings failed to connect. Alexander climbs to a 2-0 record, while Vinton County drops to 1-1.

Both teams to hope to continue their strong starts as Alexander looks to continue its winning start Saturday, Dec. 8, and Vinton seeks redemption next Friday.