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Small mistakes at wrong time prove costly to Vikings in district semifinal loss

Symmes Valley Vikings’ guard Alec Herrell (3) leaps into the air and makes a pass to a teammate for a basket during Tuesday’s district semifinal game. The Vikings lost to South Webster 70-48. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

 

ATHENS — It’s the little things that mean a lot.

The Symmes Valley Vikings got within seven points late in the first half, but an 8-0 run helped South Webster go up by 10 at the break.

That scoring spurt proved to be the springboard for the Jeeps who went on to beat the Vikings 70-48 on Tuesday in the Division IV district semifinals at the Ohio University Convocation Center.

“Right before the half we had two defensive meltdowns and we missed a shot. We could have been down five (at the half). Those timely errors get you beat,” said Vikings’ coach Jerome Fuller.

Led by 6-foot-4 Austin Loop and David Sutton, the Jeeps out-rebounded the Vikings 37-24 as Loop grabbed 13, Sutton seven and Seth Goddard eight.

The Vikings were 19 of 46 from the field for 41 percent, but they missed a lot of shots in the paint. Fuller said the Jeeps’ size and leaping ability had an effect on the Vikings.

“Over the long run they had too much size and athleticism,” said Fuller. “A lot of that (size) intimidated us around the basket. But I’m proud of our effort. They didn’t quit. Our kids have nothing to hang their heads about.”

South Webster (14-8) got a big game from Levi Cook who scored 26 points. Loop had 17 points and Sutton added 14.

D.J. Miller scored 18 points including five 3-pointers for the Vikings (8-15). He also had 3 assists and 2 steals.

Tyler Rowe added 9 points and 7 rebounds while Austin Baldwin had 8 points and 8 rebounds.

Symmes Valley’s only lead of the game was 4-3 on a layup by Rowe off a feed from Miller at the 5:10 mark of the first quarter.

Symmes Valley’s only lead of the game was 4-3 on a layup by Rowe off a feed from Miller at the 5:10 mark of the first quarter.

The Jeeps took the lead for good as Goddard hit a 3-pointer to trigger 8 unanswered points.

A layup by Miller just before the buzzer cut the deficit to 13-9.

The Vikings stayed within 7 points most of the quarter including 28-21 on a short jumper by Baldwin with 1:51 left in the half.

But that’s when Sutton shoot free for a baseline jumper, Cook and an open look and hit a 3-pointer and Sutton’s layup pushed the lead to 35-22.

Miller’s triple at the buzzer had the Vikings down 35-25 at the break.

The Jeeps led by as many as 16 in the third quarter before the Vikings closed the gap to 49-36 at the end of the stanza.

South Webster scored the first 6 points of the fourth quarter to lead by 17, but the Vikings used a 3-point by Miller to slice the lead to 57-45 with 2:38 left.

With the Vikings forced to foul, the Jeeps converted 9 of 9 at the line over the final two and one-half minutes and 13of 15 for the quarter.

The Jeeps were 21 of 27 at the line for the game while the Vikings converted on 5 of 14 tries.

“Around the four-minute mark we wanted to be down by nine or 10 (points). Then if we bust a couple of shots, we’ve got a chance, But 15 (points) was just too much,” said Fuller.

The youthful Vikings have only one senior — Tyler Wilson —and Fuller said the team’s youth played a role in their entire season as well as Tuesday’s game.

“We haven’t been a good shooting team all year. Our offense has been inconsistent all year but young players are inconsistent,” said Fuller.

“Six of our 11 players have never been in the (Convocation Center). Talk about big eyes. But I thought they handled it well once the game got started.”

South Webster plays Manchester at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the district finals at Ohio University.

Sym. Valley 9 16 11 12 = 48

So. Webster 13 22 14 21 = 70

SYMMES VALLEY (8-15): Alec Herrell 4 0 0-0 8, D.J. Miller 1 5 1-2 18, Austin Baldwin 3 0 2-6 8, Tyler Rowe 4 0 1-2 9, Tyler Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Jonathan Kouns 0 0 0-2 0, Mitch Corn 2 0 0-0 4, Tanner Conley 0 0 1-2 1, Lane Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Dylan Pelletier 0 0 0-0 0, Zane Wheeler 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-46 5-14 48. 3-point goals: 5-10. Rebounds: 7-17=24 (Baldwin 8, Rowe 7). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 6 (Miller 3). Steals: 6 (Herrell 3, Miller 2). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Corn (4th 0:45).

SOUTH WEBSTER (14-8): Lance Swords 1 0 0-0 2, Levi Cook 4 3 9-11 26, Austin Loop 3 1 8-8 17, Seth Goddard 2 1 0-0 7, David Sutton 6 0 2-4 14, Andrew Salisbury 1 0 0-0 2, Jensen Dyer 0 0 0-2 0, Elijah Ruark 0 0 2-2 2, Denver Fuller 0 0 0-0 0, Brody Queen 0 0 0-0 0, Sean Lockhart 0 0 0-0 0, Alex Moore 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-46 21-27 70. 3-point goals: 5-19. Rebounds: 10-27=37 (Loop 13, Goddard 8, Sutton 7). Team rebounds: 1. Assists: 12 (Loop 4, Swords 3, Cook 3). Steals: 5 (Loop 2). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None.