[Cole Patterson | WOUB]

Lady Vikings snag massive TVC-Ohio win over Nelsonville-York

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Entering this week, the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio was a three team race for first between the Alexander Spartans, Vinton County Vikings, and Nelsonville-York Buckeyes.

With Alexander defeating Athens to get to 7-1 in the conference, Nelsonville-York (6-2 in conference) needed to complete a season sweep of the Vikings in order to stay within striking distance of the Spartans.

As for the Vikings (5-1 in conference), it was critical for them to beat the Buckeyes on the road to keep pace with Alexander, and, from the start, there were clear signs that Vinton County would steal this game on the road.

For starters, although the game was played in Buchtel, the Viking faithful came out in droves to support their girls. It sounded like a home game with thunderous applause and cheers whenever Vinton scored. Second, Nelsonville-York had only four varsity players available for this game.

When watching the warmup, you could only see six players (four varsity and two pulled up from JV) warming up, and that signified the limited number of players that would play throughout this game for the Buckeyes. Even though there were clear advantages for the Vikings, they still had to go out on the court, put up points, and slow down one of the most potent players in the region in Mackenzie Hurd.

From the start, Vinton County got out to a quick lead due to their offense that is built on quick passes. One of the biggest benefactors of this offense for V.C. was Cameron Zinn who had herself a day. Not only did she put up 19 points in the first half, but she also achieved the 1000 point mark for her career.

On the other side, Although Mackenzie Hurd did her best to keep the Buckeyes in the game by scoring 13 first half points, the solid team defense from the Vikings limited Hurd’s scoring in the paint and made it difficult for Hurd to get easy shots. These factors allowed the Vikings to construct a 36-22 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Vinton County used their advantage of depth to gain even more separation. With N.Y. having only one player to substitute, the Vikings kept a steady stream of rested players switching into the game to control the tempo.

The fatigue was apparent in the Buckeye offense as the passes became easier and easier to intercept for the Vikings as they went on to force 12 turnovers on the day.

Although the scoring slowed down for Vinton County in the second half, their defense and free throw shooting remained strong as they never led by less than double digits the rest of the way. The final score was a 56-41 game in favor of the Vikings.

Zinn finished the day with a double-double as she scored 19 points on 7/12 shooting and recorded 14 rebounds for Vinton County. For Nelsonville-York, Mackenzie Hurd led the way with 22 points on 7/15 shooting and 8 rebounds.

With this win, the Vikings avenged their 48-39 loss to the Buckeyes from earlier this season to improve their record to 6-1 in conference play ahead of their matchup against Wellston.

On the N.Y. side of things, the Buckeyes fall to 6-3 in conference and will try to gain some momentum back for the rest of the season in a non-conference contest against Logan.