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Foul shooting lifts Vikings over Clay

WILLOW WOOD — This time they didn’t waste the opportunities.

In a 58-56 loss at Portsmouth Clay two weeks ago, the Symmes Valley Vikings made only 7-of-25 free throw attempts.

Not Friday night.

The Vikings converted 18-of-24 from the foul line as they beat the Clay Panthers 55-47 in a Southern Ohio Conference game.

“We didn’t shoot well from the field, but we did make our free throws and that was a big key for us,” said Vikings’ coach Jerome Fuller.

Symmes Valley was 18-of-48 from the floor for 37.5 percent and just 1-of-8 from behind the arc.

Luke Taylor scored 6 of his 8 points in the first quarter and it was tied 10-10.

The Vikings pulled away to a 27-19 lead at the half. Brandon Bowling was fouled on a 3-point goal attempt just before the end of the half and connected on all three shots.

The Vikings led 41-32 after three quarters, but Clay (6-8, 6-4) closed the gap to just four points in the fourth quarter.

But Bowling was 4-of-4 and Josh Craft 3-of-4 from the line over the final few minutes to secure the win.

“Bowling hit some big foul shots,” said Fuller.

Symmes Valley (7-5, 5-3) had a balanced offensive attack led by Craft with 12 points and Kris Tibbs with 10.

Craft also had 5 assists and 7 of the Vikings’ 17 steals.

Ports. Clay 10 9 13 15 = 47

Symmes Valley 10 17 14 14 = 55

PORTSMOUTH CLAY (6-8, 6-4): Cody Delotell 5 0 4-4 14, Cody Bussler 2 1 1-1 8, Cameron Caseman 0 0 0-1 0, Gabe Duduit 0 0 2-2 2, Nathan Burchett 2 2 4-4 14, Josh Porter 2 0 0-0 4, Max Graham 2 0 1-2 5. Totals: 13 3 12-14 47. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None.

SYMMES VALLEY (7-5, 5-3): Drew Brock 2 1 0-0 7, Justin Payne 1 0 3-4 5, Kris Tibbs 4 0 2-3 10, Luke Taylor 3 0 2-4 8, Josh Craft 4 0 4-6 12, Brandon Bowling 0 0 7-7 7, Michael Ferris 1 0 0-0 2, Jacob Patterson 2 0 0-0 4, Ryan Stanley 0 0 0-0 0 Hunter Johnson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-48 18-24 55. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 1-8. Rebounds: 21 (Taylor 6, Tibbs 5, Johnson 5). Assists: 14 (Craft 5, Taylor 4). Steals: 17 (Craft 7). Turnovers: 15.

RESERVES: Symmes Valley 61-36. SV leaders: Jordan Fulford 12, Tanner Conley 11.