Vikings rally to edge Bobcats, 70-67

Published 5:09 pm Saturday, February 17, 2018

Jim Walker


FRANKLIN FURNACE — The fourth quarter turned into a Q&A. Fortunately, the Symmes Valley Vikings had enough answers to pass the test.

The Vikings were more than capable of answering what the Green Bobcats threw at them on Friday as Symmes Valley rallied in the fourth quarter for a 70-67 Southern Ohio Conference win.

The Vikings trailed most of the game and were down six points going into the fourth quarter before getting the comeback win on senior night.

“We really had everyone contribute and make big plays for us, especially down the stretch. The last few minutes it seemed like every time we made a play, they had an answer. Kimbler was incredible,” said Vikings’ coach Chad Coffman.

The Vikings were led by Layken Gothard with 20 points and Nick Klaiber with 18. Brock Carpenter and Jack Leith each scored 12 points while Austin Mannon added eight.

The Vikings are now 12-9 and finish 7-7 in the SOC.

Green was led by Tanner Kimbler with a game-high 30 points that included six 3-pointers and 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Gage Sampson had 13 and Tayte Carver scored 11 for the Bobcats.

“Green is a really good basketball team and we had to battle and come from behind to get a big win on senior night,” said Coffman.

Green took a 17-12 first quarter lead as Kimbler hit a pair of 3-pointers and sank three free throw when he was fouled shooting a 3. Sampson added six points.

Klaiber had six points including 4-of-6 at the line.

The Bobcats extended their lead to 39-32 at the half as Kimbler hit a trey and scored six more points and Sampson scored six points, too. Carver and Huffman scored four points each.

Klaiber knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points and Gothard also hit a trifecta and scored four points in the quarter.

“We played a great first half, but in the second half we didn’t do the little things,” said Green coach Dirk Hollar. “We missed key box outs, we missed free throws down the stretch and we quit sharing the basketball.

“Symmes Valley did a great job of executing their sets in the second half to get great looks and it seemed when they missed, they grabbed the rebound.”

The Vikings sliced a point off the Bobcats’ lead to 53-47 at the end of the third quarter

In the fourth quarter comeback, Carpenter scored eight points, Gothard six and Klaib er five.

The Vikings — who were 20-of-30 from the foul line for the game — converted 9-of-16 free throws attempts. Carpenter was 4-of-6, Klaiber 3-of-4 and Leith 2-of-4.

Kimbler hit two 3-pointers as he scored 10 of the Bobcats’ 14 points.

“This group of seven seniors is such a special group. I truly feel blessed that I got to hang out with them the last few months. I will always remember this group for their work ethic and their toughness,” said Coffman.

Symmes Valley plays Waterford at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, in the Division IV sectional at Meigs.

Green plays St. Joseph at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Division IV sectional at Northwest.

The Bobcats jayvees won to finish the season 21-0,

Green              17        22        14        14        =          67

Sym. Valley    12        20        15        23        =          70

GREEN (NA): Tanner Kimbler 2 6 8-10 30, Tayte Carver 5 0 1-3 11, Gage Sampson 5 0 3-6 13, Caden Blizzard 3 0 0-4 6, Rylee Maynard 1 0 1-2 3, Zach Huffman 2 0 0-0 4, Ethan Huffman 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 6 13-25 67. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Sampson.

SYMMES VALLEY (12-9, 7-7): Derik Brace 0 0 0-0 0, Jack Leith 4 0 4-6 12, Michael Holschuh 0 0 0-0 0, Alec Carpenter 0 0 0-0 0, Nick Klaiber 2 2 8-14 18, Austin Mannon 2 1 1-1 8, Brock Carpenter 4 0 4-6 12. Totals: 19 4 20-33 70. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: Klaiber.