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Eastern’s late FTs deal Vikings tough SOC loss

BEAVER — It was a battle for first place, and it was quite a battle.

The Symmes Valley Vikings and Beaver Eastern Eagles went toe-to-toe from the opening tip to the final buzzer to determine the Southern Ohio Conference Division I leader.

Eastern managed to squeeze out a 55-54 win over the Vikings and stay unbeaten in the SOC.

Eastern took an 18-13 lead at the end of the first quarter but Symmes Valley rallied in the second quarter to take a 28-26 lead.

The game was tied in the third quarter until Doug McVey hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Eastern a 39-36 lead.

The Vikings railed 50-45 with three minutes left, but Kris Tibbs drained a trey with 24 seconds left to give Symmes Valley at 54-53 lead.

Jordan Thornsberry was fouled with eight seconds to play and hit two foul shots to put Eastern in front 55-54.

Tibbs attempted a field goal just before time ran out only to have the shot blocked by Kole Wheeler as Eastern held on to win.

Luke Taylor had 19 points to lead the Vikings (3-3, 2-1) while Tibbs scored 13.

Symmes Valley was playing its first game since Dec. 22 against Rock Hill.

Eastern (6-1, 4-0) was led by Thornsberry with 13 points. Wheeler and McVey had 12 each.

Symmes Valley 13 15 8 18 = 54

Eastern 18 8 13 16 = 55

SYMMES VALLEY (3-3, 2-1): Drew Brock 1 0 1 3, Justin Payne 0 0 4 4, Kris Tibbs 5 1 0 13, Luke Taylor 8 0 3 19, Hunter Johnson 4 0 0 8, Josh Craft 0 1 1 4, Michael Ferris 1 0 1 3. Totals: 19 2 10 54.

BEAVER EASTERN (6-1, 4-0): Hawks 1 0 3 5, Thornsberry 1 3 2 13, Lawhorn 0 2 0 6, Selby 1 0 0 2, McVey 1 2 4 1 12, Wheeler 4 0 4 12, Montgomery 2 0 1 5. Totals: 10 7 14 55.