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Vikings capture SOC title

WILLOW WOOD — That’s why they play the game.

Before the season, the Symmes Valley Vikings were predicted to finish in the bottom half of the Southern Ohio Conference I standings.

But the Vikings didn’t pay any attention to their detractors all season and capped the year off with a 64-57 win over the New Boston Tigers to win an unexpected SOC title.

Symmes Valley finished 12-2 in the league and New Boston tied Western for second at 11-3.

The Vikings returned only Chris Capper from last season and they were facing veteran opponents all season. But coach Alvin Carpenter said his team paid little attention to the predictions.

“This group is the biggest bunch of overachievers that I’ve coached. No one gave them a chance. We had different guys step up every night and they were the most unselfish team I’ve ever had,” said Carpenter.

“They really cheer for each other. They’re a close bunch.”

The Vikings won their first Southern Ohio Conference championship in 2003.

Jacob Johnson scored eight points as the Vikings took a 17-15 first quarter lead.

Matt Tibbs had seven points including a 3-pointer in the second quarter and the Vikings held to a 29-26 halftime lead.

Johnson scored seven more points in the third quarter as the Vikings took a 45-40 lead.

New Boston scored to start the fourth quarter and get within two, but Tibbs got a steal and hit a 3-pointer. Johnson then converted a three-point play and the lead was eight.

Tibbs, who scored nine points with a pair of treys in the quarter, made three foul shots and the Vikings were 8-of-11 down the stretch at the foul line.

“We’ve shooting about 60 percent from the line for the year, but 80 percent in the second half,” said Carpenter.

Tibbs had 21 points and Johnson 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Vikings (15-5). Capper grabbed 13 rebounds.

Josh Howell scored 19 and Josh Holbrook 13 for New Boston (14-6).

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Symmes Valley17121619=64

NEW BOSTON (14-6, 11-3): Josh Howell 4 3 2-6 19, Logan Copley 1 1 4-4 9, Mike Salisbury 2 1 0-0 7, Justin Bowling 2 0 0-0 4, Justin Lancaster 0 0 2-2 2, Josh Holbrook 6 0 1-3 13, Matt Horner 0 1 0-0 3. Totals: 15 6 9-15 57. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Salisbury.

SYMMES VALLEY (15-5, 12-2): Tyler Smith 1 0 6-6 8, Justin Wilson 0 0 0-1 0, Jacob Johnson 4 1 8-13 19, Kris Tibbs 3 0 0-0 6, Chris Capper 2 0 1-4 5, Matt Tibbs 3 4 3-4 21, Robbie Powell 1 0 0-0 2, Hunter Boggs 1 0 1-2 3. Totals: 20-55 5 19-30 64. 3-point goals: 5-16. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: K. Tibbs. Rebounds: 39 (Capper 13, Johnson 10). Assists: 8 (Smith 3, Johnson 3). Steals: 7 (M. Tibbs 4). Turnovers: 15. Blocked shots: 7 (K. Tibbs 3, M. Tibbs 3, Capper 1).