Vikings to the finals

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001

ATHENS – The Symmes Valley Vikings are feasting on their tournament opponents because of Justin Myers’ appetite.

Wednesday, March 07, 2001

ATHENS – The Symmes Valley Vikings are feasting on their tournament opponents because of Justin Myers’ appetite.

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For the second straight tournament game, Myers turned in a big performance and helped the Vikings to another victory.

Myers had 17 points – 14 the second half – and 14 rebounds as Symmes Valley rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Whiteoak Wildcats 58-54 Tuesday night in the Division IV district semifinals at Ohio University.

"When you’ve got a meal ticket, you punch it when it’s time to eat," Vikings coach Alvin Carpenter said. "Myers has really stepped it up. I told him you’ve got to want the ball for us to get it to you and he’s wanted the ball."

Symmes Valley (17-5) will now play Manchester at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ohio University in the district championship game. Manchester held off Waterford 60-59 in the second game.

Adam Corn added 13 points and six rebounds, Travis Wilson grabbed six rebounds, Drew Hunt chipped in nine points, and Brad Carpenter had six points, two assists, and two steals for the Vikings.

Coach Carpenter said the team effort and senior leadership were the keys.

"The last two regular season game and the two tournament games, the seniors have stepped it up. During the last time out, they said they didn’t want to quit playing basketball," coach Carpenter said.

"But it’s been everyone. We got in foul trouble and the kids off the bench stepped it up. We told them whether they play 30 minutes or 30 seconds, play hard and enjoy it."

Doug Hawke had 15 points and Josh Stacy got 13 points and seven rebounds to lead Whiteoak (17-4).

Symmes Valley trailed most of the game as it struggled with foul trouble. Myers got his second foul less than two minutes into the game and sat out until the second quarter.

Corn and Hunt got their second fouls in the second quarter and were forced to the bench.

Wilson followed up a missed shot at the 4:35 mark of the first quarter that gave the Vikings a 7-3 lead, but Whiteoak came back to score eight straight points to go up 16-10 and led 21-14 at the end of the quarter.

A 10-footer by Hawke put Whiteoak ahead 25-18 with 4:38 left in the half. But David Owens said two foul shots, Myers sank one, and, after two free throws by Hawke, Corn made two foul shots and it was 27-23.

Tim Heaton hit a free throw with 2:02 left, but Terry Elswick came off the bench and drained a 3-pointer with 30 seconds on the clock and the Vikings were within 28-26 at the break.

"We told them at the half that wasn’t exactly our best half of basketball and we were down only two, and our two best players sat out most of the first half," said coach Carpenter.

Myers followed up a shot to begin the second half and get the Vikings even, and a layup by Hunt gave his team a 30-28 lead.

Stacy scored six straight points and Whiteoak went ahead 36-32 with four minutes left in the quarter.

A 3-pointer by Brad Carpenter got the Vikings within 38-37, but Stacy hit a layup and Ryan Barnett tipped in a missed shot and the Wildcats led 42-37 after three quarters.

Myers took over to start the fourth quarter as he scored seven points to close the gap to 49-46, and Corn’s 3-pointer with 3:27 to play tied the game.

Symmes Valley jumped into a man-to-man and forced a turnover, and then Myers followed up a missed shot for a 51-49 lead.

Owens was fouled and hit both ends of a one-and-one with 2:26 to go for a 53-49 lead. Barnett’s layup cut the deficit in half, but Owens made two more clutch foul shots with 1:37 left.

"I was a little nervous," said Owens. "I was trying not to think about it. I tried to keep myself calm, but it didn’t work."

Justin Michael nailed a long 3-pointer with 1:20 on the clock, but Corn hit two free throws with 28 seconds left for a 57-54 lead.

Michael missed a 3-point attempt with five seconds to play and Myers rebounded and was fouled. He made the first shot with three seconds left to seal the win.

Symmes Valley was 20-of-46 from the field for 43.4 percent while Whiteoak was just 20-of-63 for 31.7 percent.

Barnett, Whiteoak’s leading scorer with 19 points a game, was held to nine points on 4-of-17 shooting including 0-of-8 from 3-point range.