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From bad to worse

WELLSTON — After watching his team shoot just 31 percent and score 19 points in the first half, Symmes Valley coach Jerome Fuller expected things to get better.

They didn’t.

The Vikings shot a dismal 1-for-10 in the third quarter as they lost 47-36 to the Eastern Meigs Eagles Tuesday in the Division IV sectional finals.

“I thought the first half was bad when we only scored 19 points, but the third quarter was even worse,” said Fuller. “We’ve had shooting woes all season.”

Despite the horrendous third quarter, the Vikings remained within striking defense because the defense forced the top-seeded Eagles into eight turnovers.

The Vikings shot 14-of-41 for the game for 34 percent and a dreadful 4-of-13 at the foul line. Eastern had its trouble against the Symmes Valley defense by making 14-of-34 from the field for 41 percent.

The difference for Eastern came at the foul line as they converted 15-of-25 including 11-of-18 in the fourth quarter when the Vikings were forced to foul in an effort to get back in the game.

“I thought we outplayed them, we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” said Fuller.

“I though it would take 50 points to win it and we’ve never scored less than 50 all season. (Eastern) might not have scored 40 if we didn’t have to foul them at the end.”

Michael Ferris scored 12 points and Kris Tibbs had 10 to lead the Vikings (13-7).

Eastern (20-1) was paced by Jake Lynch with 13 points.

Brayden Pratt and Lynch hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Eagles up 19-8. Tibbs made a layup with 32 seconds left in the first quarter and it was 19-10.

Ferris scored six points including a trifecta to begin the second quarter and get the Vikings within 19-16. The Eagles got a layup by Kyle Connery to limp into the locker room with a 23-19 halftime lead.

“Ferris kept us in it early and Tibbs tried to get us back in it at the end,” said Fuller. “

Eastern scored six unanswered points to start the second half and opened up a 29-19 lead.

Ferris hit a 3-pointer at the 1:49 mark for the Vikings only points of the quarter,but a layup by Mike Jackson and a 3-point play by Lynch gave the Eagles a 34-22 lead at the end of the quarter.

Tibbs made a layup and drained a pair of treys in the fourth quarter — the second with 2:25 to play — to get the Vikings within 37-31.

A steal and layup by Luke Taylor cut the deficit to 41-36 with 1:47 left. But the Vikings had to foul and the Eagles converted 6-of-8 over the final 1:37 to seal the win.

Symmes Valley 10 9 3 12 = 36

Eastern Meigs 19 4 11 13 = 47

SYMMES VALLEY (13-7): Justin Payne 1-3 0-0 2, Kris Tibbs 4-10 0-0 10, Luke Taylor 3-7 0-1 6, Hunter Johnson 1-1 0-2 2, Josh Craft 1-6 2-5 4, Drew Brock 0-6 0-0 0, Brandon Bowling 0-0 0-1 0, Michael Ferris 4-8 2-4 12, Jacob Patterson 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Stanley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-41 4-13 36. Fouls: 22. Fouled out: Payne (4th 2:21). 3-point goals: 4-16 (Payne 0-1, Tibbs 2-4, Craft 0-1, Brock 0-5, Ferris 2-3). Rebounds: 10 offense, 21 defense = 31 (Taylor 6, Ferris 5, Johnson 4). Team rebounds: 7. Assists: 9 (Payne 3, Tibbs 2). Steals: 10 (Tibbs 3, Taylor 3). Turnovers: 22.

EASTERN MEIGS (20-1): Mike Johnson 2-6 1-4 5, Jake Lynch 3-9 6-7 13, Kelly Winebrenner 2-5 4-6 8, Titus Pierce 3-5 3-6 9, Kyle Connery 1-1 1-2 3, Tyler Hendrix 2-6 0-0 6, Devon Braun 0-1 0-0 0, Brayden Pratt 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 14-34 15-25 47. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: Winebrenner (4th 0:59). 3-point goals: 4-13 (Lynch 1-4, Winebrenner 0-2, Hendrix 2-6, Pratt 1-1). Rebounds: 6 offense, 22 defense = 28 (Johnson 7, Hendrix 6). Team rebounds: 3. Assists: 7 (Pierce 2, Hendrix 2). Steals: 10 (Lynch 5, Pierce 2). Turnovers: 17.