ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — At least the Marauders scored first.
Visiting Vinton County led all but 90 seconds of regulation while shooting 54 percent from the field Tuesday night during an impressive 73-54 victory over the Meigs boys basketball team in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.
The Marauders (12-2, 4-2 TVC Ohio) dropped their second consecutive league contest in a most disappointing fashion, as the hosts netted only 1-of-19 three-point attempts while shooting 38 percent overall from the field.
MHS took its only lead of the night on a Luke Musser field goal 47 seconds into regulation, but the Vikings (13-1, 6-0) countered with a 9-0 surge over the next 2:06 to secure a permanent lead.
The Maroon and Gold closed to within 16-11 after eight minutes of play and trailed 18-17 following a Jaxon Meadows basket at the 5:23 mark of the second period, but the hosts never came closer. VCHS answered with a 15-6 charge over the final 4:27 to secure a 33-23 advantage at the break.
The Marauders trailed the entire second half by double digits and were twice down by 21 points in the final 45 seconds of regulation before ultimately falling by 19 points. Vinton County — which committed only two first half turnovers — led 50-34 headed into the finale.
The Vikings had five players reach double figures, shot 36 percent from behind the arc and committed only eight turnovers in the contest, while the hosts had 16 miscues and only two players with 10-or-more points. Meigs did outrebound VCHS by a 35-27 overall margin, including a 12-5 edge on the offensive glass.
Between the turnovers, the poor offensive touch and a defense that allowed an opponent to make over half of its shots, MHS coach Ed Fry was more than a little dejected following Tuesday night’s outcome.
“Our focus over the last week has not been at the same level that it was earlier in the season,” Fry said. “We were having four or five guys reach double figures and now we have a bunch of dribbling and shooting with four other guys standing around.
“We need to get back to doing what has made us successful, which is playing together on both ends of the floor. Give Vinton County a lot of credit though because they were the better team tonight.”
Jordan Albright tied things at two with a jumper at the 6:50 mark, then Naylen Yates gave VCHS a permanent lead 21 seconds later following a short jumper. That duo also combined for a dozen of the Vikings’ 16 points in the first quarter.
Trailing 16-8, Dillon Mahr nailed Meigs’ only trifecta with a minute left in the first canto — allowing the hosts to close to within five points. MHS ended up missing its final 13 three-point attempts of the evening.
Meigs connected on 23-of-60 field goal attempts overall and also went 7-of-13 at the free throw line for 54 percent.
Kaileb Sheets led the Marauders with a game-high 17 points, followed by Colton Lilly with 12 points and Meadows with eight markers. Christian Mattox was next with six points, while Mahr and Musser each contributed four markers.
Jared Kennedy rounded out the MHS tally with three points. Lilly led the hosts with a game-high 11 rebounds, followed by Kennedy and Sheets with eight caroms apiece. Sheets also dished out a team-best five assists.
The Vikings netted 28-of-52 shot attempts overall and went 4-of-11 from three-point range. The guests were also 13-of-22 from the charity stripe for 59 percent.
Albright paced Vinton County with 14 points, followed by Yates and Tristan Bartoe with 13 points apiece. Derick Jones and Bo McIntyre respectively added 12 and 10 markers to the winning cause as well.
Chase Wood contributed six points, Jake Speakman added three markers and Sean Caudill rounded out the VCHS tally with two points. Jones led the guests with seven rebounds and Wood hauled in six boards.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.