Archived Story

Vikings use defense to top Eagles, 64-61

Published 3:34am Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jim Walker


BEAVER — The Symmes Valley Vikings didn’t just talk the talk. They walked the walk.

The Vikings did what they knew they had to do as they used their defense to keep the Eastern Eagles from scoring in their final four possessions and post a 64-61 Southern Ohio Conference win Tuesday.

“We talked in practice (Monday) how important it was to play defense,” said Vikings’ coach Donnie Saunders.

“We played real good defense in their last four possession and didn’t give them a real good look. I was proud of that.”

The Vikings’ Jonathan Kouns scored 6 points including two clutch free throws down the stretch and the defense forced several bad shots including a game-tying 3-point attempt before the final buzzer that saw the ball hit off the back of the rim.

“We played pretty well. We made some mistakes, but for that type of game, we played well. We did a lot of good things,” said Saunders. “Jonathan Kouns took over and did a nice job.”

Kouns had a career-high 26 points to lead the Vikings (3-1, 2-0). Tyler Rowe scored 16 points and Ryan Gibson added 11.

Josh Thacker scored 20 points, Garret Fitch had 12 points on four 3-point goals, and Trace Creech had 10 points for Eastern.

Fitch hit a pair of 3-pointers as the Eagles took a 15-14 first quarter lead. Kouns had 5 points to keep the Vikings close.

Rowe and Gibson combined for 11 points in the second quarter and offset 8 points by Thacker and 5 by Creech to make it 30-29 at the half.

Kouns poured in 13 points in the third quarter as the Vikings outscored Eastern 22-19 to take a 50-49 lead and set up the thrilling finish.

Sym. Valley 14 15 22 13 = 64

Eastern 15 15 19 12 = 61

SYMMES VALLEY (3-1, 2-0): Dylan Malone 2 0 0-3 4, Kurt Adams 0 0 0-0 0, Jonathan Kouns 10 0 6-8 26, Jacob Klaiber 3 0 1-1 7, Tyler Rowe 7 0 2-4 16, Ryan Gibson 2 2 1-3 11. Totals: 24 2 10-19 64. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.

BEAVER EASTERN (2-2): Ethan Leist 4 0 1-3 9, Justin Fultz 1 0 0-0 2, Garret Fitch 0 4 0-0 12, Ben Hesson 2 0 2-2 6, Trace Creech 2 2 0-0 10, Josh Thacker 3 3 5-6 20, Cody Vulgamore 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 13 9 8-11 61. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.

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