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Vikings handle Panthers in SOC

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

PORTSMOUTH — Symmes Valley coach Donnie Saunders must have had the post office stamped the basketball with the phrase, “Handle with care.”

The Vikings cut down on their turnovers and used the hot-hand of Jonathon Kouns to beat the Portsmouth Clay Panthers 53-47 Tuesday in a Southern Ohio Conference game.

“The last time we turned the ball over 25 times. This time we took care of the ball and we handled their press,” said Saunders.

“We picked up the defense tonight. That’s what we’ve been working on. We cut some of their point total down.”

Kouns hit four 3-pointers and scored 22 points as the Vikings improved to 8-4 overall and 6-2in the SOC. Tyler Rowe added 13 points as Symmes Valley avenged an earlier 63-53 loss to the Panthers.

Clay (6-7, 4-4) was led by Eldin Sarajilic with 19 points. Michael Schmidt scored 10.

Kouns scored 10 points including three long-range shots and Kurt Adams came off the bench to add another 3-pointer as the Vikings jumped out to a 21-10 first quarter lead.

“Jon was feeling good. He got off to a good start for us,” said Saunders.

Clay cut the deficit to 29-23 at the half. The Vikings pushed the lead to 41-33 at the end of the third quarter despite six points by Sarajilic.

The Vikings managed to withstand six missed free throws and six points by Schmidt to get the win.

“If we would have made a few free throws in the fourth quarter we could have made things a little easier on ourselves,” said Saunders.

The Vikings play at Green on Friday in a SOC game.

In the reserve game, the Vikings won 48-29 as Zach Dial and Payton Hayes scored 13 each.

Sym. Valley 21 8 12 11 = 52

Ports. Clay 10 13 10 14 = 47

SYMMES VALLEY (8-4, 6-2): Dylan Malone 0 0 1-2 1, Kurt Adams 1 1 1-2 6, Kouns 4 4 2-4 22, Ben Ferguson 1 0 0-0 2, Jacob Klaiber 2 0 0-0 4, Tyler Rowe 5 0 2-8 13, Ryan Gibson 2 0 0-0 4. Totals: 15 5 7-16 52. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Klaiber.

PORTSMOUTH CLAY (6-7, 4-4): Adam Cooper 3 0 2-2 8, Aaron Phipps 3 0 0-1 6, Conner Phipps 0 0 0-0 0, Zack Phillips 0 0 0-1 0, Eldin Sarajilic 7 0 4-7 18, Michael Schmidt 4 0 2-2 10, Mason Pelpery 1 0 0-0 2, Nate Hinze 0 1 0-0 3. Totals: 18 1 8-13 47. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.