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Vikings outscore Bobcats, 81-73; SV’s Saunders gets career win No. 150

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

ROCKSPRINGS — Career win No. 150 is one that Donnie Saunders won’t forget.

Neither will anyone else.

The Symmes Valley head coach got career victory No. 150 as the Vikings outscored the Green Bobcats 81-73 in the Division IV sectional tournament and a game that saw Green’s Tanner Kimbler hit 10 3-point goals en route to 39 points.

“We didn’t play bad defense. We were in their faces and we were all over (Kimbler) and he still made them. He was just amazing,” said Saunders.

“But we survived. Win and move on is all that matters at this time of year.”

Symmes Valley (9-13) was led by Jarod Sheppard with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Collin Webb with 19 points and eight assists.

Shawn Belville had 13 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocks and Payton Hayes scored 12 points.

Besides Kimbler, Tayte Carver scored 11 points and Hunter Lewis 10.

Kimbler opened the game with 10 points in the first quarter as Green took a 20-13 lead. Belville scored six points ot keep the Vikings close.

The defense held Green to five points in the second quarter with the offense scored 20 points to take a 33-25 lead at the half. Laken Gothard hit a pair of 3-pointers and Webb scored five points in the quarter.

Sheppard scored eight points and Webb six as the Vikings stretched their lead to 54-38 at the end of three quarter.

Kimbler got hot and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter including six 3-pointers. Lewis added two more triples as the Bobcats scored 35 points in the quarter.

But Green was forced to foul after making their shot in an attempt to overtake the Vikings.

Symmes Valley answered the challenge by making 15-of-17 free throw attempts. Hayes was 6-of-6 at the line, Sheppard 4-of-4, Belville 3-of-4 and Webb 2-2 in the quarter.

“Green played a nice game and they were there to win,” said Saunders. “But our kids are starting to play consistent. Green earned every one of their points. Our guys took care of business and I was proud of them. Their foul shooting in the fourth quarter was the reason we won.”

Saunders spent most of his career coaching at the lower levels until taking over as the head coach at South Gallia in 2003. He came to Symmes Valley — his alma mater — four years ago. He said his players were unaware of his milestone until being informed after the game.

“I loved to coaching the younger kids for so many years. In 2003 I got my chance and I took it. I don’t feel too bad at about that,” said Saunders.

“I tell the kids when you get your turn be ready to play. Coaches need to be ready. I thanked the kids for No. 150 tonight and that surprised them because I hadn’t said anything about it.”

Symmes Valley will play Waterford at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Green 20 5 13 35 = 73

Sym. Valley 13 20 21 27 = 81

GREEN (NA): Tanner Kimbler 4 10 1-1 39, Tayte Carver 3 0 5-8 11, Hunter Lewis 2 2 0-1 10, Alex Hughes 2 0 0-1 4, Aaron Johnson 0 0 3-4 3, Justin Deerfield 0 0 0-0 0, Zach Garrett 2 0 2-4 6, Caden Blizzard 0 0 0-0 0, Jacob Carver 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 12 11-18 73. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: Hughes.

SYMMES VALLEY (9-13): Levi Cade 0 0 0-0 Chayden Renfroe 2 0 1-3 5, Collin Webb 7 1 2-4 19, Shawn Belville 5 3-4 13, Derik Brace 0 0 0-0 0, Payton Hayes 0 2 6-6 12, Derrek Smith 0 1 0-0 3, Nick Klaiber 0 0 0-0 0, Laken Gothard 1 2 0-0 8, Hunter Adams 0 0 0-0 0, Jarod Sheppard 8 0 5-6 21. Totals: 29-56 17-23 81. 3-point goals: 6-15. Rebounds: 51 (Sheppard 11, Belville 10). Assists: 18 (Webb 8, Belville 6). Steals: 7 (Hayes 2). Blocks: 6 (Belville 2). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.