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Vikings may hold upper hand vs. Greyhounds

ATHENS – Well, you can’t compare scores but.

Friday, March 09, 2001

ATHENS – Well, you can’t compare scores but…. It’s hard not to look at common opponents when trying to determine who will win the Division IV district championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday when the Symmes Valley Vikings meet the Manchester Greyhounds at the Ohio University Convocation Center.

The common opponent for the two teams is now Whiteoak after Tuesday’s district semifinal game that saw the Vikings rally in the fourth quarter to win 58-54.

Manchester is 15-7 and finished runners-up in the Southern Hills small school division with a 10-4 record. The Greyhounds lost twice to Whiteoak in the regular season, 70-64 and then 83-70.

The Vikings are 17-5 – a school record for wins in a season – and were 8-4 in the Southern Ohio Conference Division I race, good for a second place tie.

"They’re going to pressure us up and down the floor. If we can get across halfcourt, I think we’ll be okay," Vikings coach Alvin Carpenter said.

Leading the Vikings in scoring is 6-foot-4 senior center Justin Myers with a 20.6 average including tournament games. He also averages 11.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots. He had 17 in the win over Whiteoak along with 14 rebounds.

Also in double figures for the Vikings are senior guard Adam Corn at 13.6 and sophomore Drew Hunt at 10.7.

Symmes Valley’s starting lineup will include senior Chris Lafon with a 3.5 scoring average and senior Brad Carpenter with a 3.4 scoring mark, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.

Travis Wilson, a 6-5 senior, is one of the top players off the bench. The Vikings needed help from Terry Elswick, J. T. Pierce, Brandon Runyon, and Davis Owens Tuesday when early foul trouble sent Myers, Corn, and Hunt to the sidelines.

Manchester offers great balance throughout its lineup with four players averaging double figures led by 6-3 senior Joey Darnell at 17.1 points to go with 6.6 rebounds.

Dudley Tomlin, another 6-3 senior, averages 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds, 6-2 junior Justin Rigdon gets 12.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, and 5-8 sophomore Grant Palmer averages 10.8 points.

The fifth starter, 5-9 senior Josh Cracraft, just missed averaging double figures at 9.7 points per game.

"They kind of remind me of Green. On any given night, anyone can score 10 or 12 points," Carpenter said.

The winner advances to the Columbus Fairgrounds Thursday, March 15.