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Vinton County Vikings New Hope Academy Statesmen
New Hope Academy Statesmen @ Vinton County Vikings Dec. 3 2019

Week in Review: Vinton County Girls and Boys Teams Face Early Tests

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The Vinton County boys team finished the week at 1-1, meaning their record now stands at 7-2 (3-1 in TVC-Ohio) for the year. The Vikings have just started their TVC-Ohio play as well, as they played two teams from their conference this week and their Tuesday match up put them up against the Nelsonville York Buckeyes. 

The Vikings took a commanding lead in the early stages of this game against the Buckeyes, commanding a 30-13 lead at halftime. However, the Buckeyes were not finished in this one. Though the Vikings got the win 56-49, they were outscored 36-26 in the second half, as they let off the gas pedal. It didn’t help that their main sources of scoring were struggling all night long, as Senior Gavin Arbaugh only had eight points that evening. Eli Radabaugh helped out in a big way with five three pointers in the contest. After talking to Vinton County Head Coach Matt Combs about the game,  he knew there would be nights like this throughout the season. “We need different guys to step up (against Nelsonville-York),” Combs said. “But we still need to rely on our main guys when we need them.” 

The game against Athens was a different story. To put it in the words of Coach Combs: “They were just bigger than us.”

Athens squeaked out to a 34-33 halftime lead and used a big second half to pull away from the Vikings, as VC would lose 65-52. A key issue was the difference in rebounding, as the Vikings got out-rebounded 35-18 in the game. “We just need to learn how to play bigger,” Coach Combs said. “We need to figure out how to play small”. Though the three headed attack of Gavin Arbaugh, Lance Montgomery, and Will Arthur combined for 40 points, the rest of the team struggled to go up against the bigger Bulldogs. For Coach Combs, he still likes where the team is headed but knows there is still work to be done. “We just have to stay with the process and get a little better everyday,” Combs said. With a break from TVC-Ohio play this next week, the Vikings will look to right the ship and continue to develop their younger players.

Next Weeks Games: Dec. 27 @Southeastern, Dec. 28 @ Washington C.H.

The Lady Vikings tasted something this week that they might not be very used to: a defeat. After cruising by the Lady Bulldogs earlier in the week with a 67- 36 victory, they traveled to Newark to take on the Newark Lady Wildcats. 

It was close in the first quarter, but the Lady Wildcats pulled away in the second quarter and the Vikings just couldn’t catch up. Newark nailed 11 three pointers in their 77-40 rout of the Lady Vikings. Though Head Coach Rod Bentley was not available for comment on this week’s games, this game was clearly just a way to test out the Lady Vikes. Newark is a Division 1 school that has been at or near the top of their conference the last couple of years and they only have one loss at this point in the season. Vinton County played hard, but just couldn’t go toe-to-toe with this D-1 powerhouse. The last game of the week was played against the Eastmoor Academy Lady Warriors, where the Lady Vikings found their groove again in a 66-25 victory. 

During their 2-1 week, the Lady Vikings showed you how they can win games: by using their depth to their full advantage.  Even if you double junior Morgan Bentley, the variety of weapons surrounding her are almost unfair. Whether its their quick senior point guard Josie Ousley or their other three point specialist in junior Teagan Bartoe, Vinton COunty is deep and tests like they had against Newark is how Coach Bentley will be looking to prepare his team for a deep tournament run. 

The Vikings still reign supreme in the race for the TVC-Ohio crown, as their record stands at 8-1 (5-0 in TVC-Ohio). They will face the undefeated Unioto Shermans on the road in their next matchup, as their tough out-of-conference schedule will continue to test the defending TVC-Ohio champs.

Next Weeks Games: Dec. 23 @Unioto, Dec. 27 vs. Licking Valley

*Note: Game against Coffman Jerome cancelled or rescheduled, changed to a Friday game (from FaceBook page)