ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Five minutes made all the difference.
Visiting Vinton County broke away from a 1-point lead with a pivotal 13-1 surge over a 4:58 span of the third quarter and eventually held on for a 65-55 victory over the Meigs girls basketball team on Monday night in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.
The host Lady Marauders (5-2, 1-2 TVC Ohio) went a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line in the opening frame while building a 16-12 advantage, but the Lady Vikings (3-2, 2-1) countered with four trifectas in the second canto during an 18-13 push that gave VCHS a 30-29 edge at the break.
An Andrea Mahr basket with 6:59 left in the third stanza allowed MHS to close to within 33-32, but the Lady Vikings followed with that all-important 12-point swing as Chloe Hayburn canned two free throws for a 46-34 edge with 2:02 remaining.
Vinton County eventually closed the final two minutes with a 3-2 spurt and took a 49-36 advantage into the finale.
The Lady Vikings secured their largest lead of the night at 56-39 with 4:36 left in regulation, but the hosts retaliated with a 16-3 charge over the next three minutes. Jennifer Parker converted a rare 4-point play with 1:36 remaining to close the gap down to 59-55.
Meigs, however, went scoreless the rest of the way as VCHS closed regulation with six straight made free throws to complete the 10-point outcome.
The Lady Marauders mustered only 10 total field goals in the contest, including four of those from behind the arc. MHS was also 31-of-37 at the free throw line for 84 percent.
Mallory Hawley paced the hosts with 20 points, followed by Rylie Lisle with 14 points and Mahr with eight markers.
Parker was next with six points and Maggie Musser chipped in five points. Delana Wright completed the scoring with two points.
The Lady Vikings netted 20 total field goals — including six 3-pointers — and also sank 19-of-30 charity tosses for 64 percent.
Tegan Bartoe led Vinton County with a game-high 23 points, followed by Rylee Ousley with 10 points and Cameron Zinn with nine markers. Hayburn and Ashley Bentley also contributed seven points each.
Meigs returns to action Thursday when it travels to The Plains for a TVC Ohio contest against Athens at 6:30 p.m.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.