ECRU- In a back and forth battle, the North Pontotoc Vikings held off West Union for a hard fought 74-70 victory on Friday.
In was another tough contest between the two teams. The Vikings fell to West Union 74-73 on a buzzer beater in their season opener back on November 5.
The contest began with a high-scoring first quarter that saw the two teams combine for 43 points and seven 3-pointers. North got two treys from Jordan Meaders and one from Kyle Sappington. With 19 seconds left Trey Miller scored on a layup. Sam Dowdy then caught a long outlet pass near the basket and was fouled, hitting one of two free throws with 0.6 seconds on the clock to pull the Vikings to within 23-20.
West Union’s Caleb Graves hit a 3-pointer to start the second quarter. Dowdy got open for a layup to cut it to 26-22, but the Eagles then went on a 13-5 run to build a 39-27 advantage with just under a minute to play in the quarter. Meaders recorded a bucket for the Vikings, followed by a steal and layup by Jacoree Westmoreland that trimmed the West Union lead to 39-31 at the half.
Ty Roberson dished to Kyle Sappington, who buried a 3-pointer to open the third quarter. Tyler Ford followed by a intercepting a pass and driving for a transition layup to make it 39-36. Westmoreland hit a pair of threes. Kenaan Lockridge drove the lane and hit a runner, drawing a foul. He was not able to get the free throw to go in, but Ford crashed the offensive glass for a putback that tied the contest 46-46 at the 4:13 mark.
Roberson slashed to the basket for a layup and drew a foul, converting the old fashioned three to put the Vikings up 49-46. Sappington drilled a 3-pointer on an assist from Ford. Westmoreland hit two free throws, and Sappington buried another 3-pointer for a 57-46 lead, capping a 15-0 run.
Roberson hit two free throws, Miller connected on a three, and Dowdy hit a free throw over the remainder of the quarter. North led 63-52 headed into the fourth after a 32-point explosion in the third.
The Eagles clawed their way back in the game, scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter to pull within 63-58. Roberson knocked down a pair of free throws for the Vikings, and West Union's Sam Callicutt netted a three to make it 65-61. The teams traded free throws before Ford scored off of a lob for a 68-62 North lead.
West Union responded by scoring the next three baskets, and Jerod McDonald’s runner off the glass tied it at 68-68 with 1:59 remaining. The Vikings were 4-4 from the foul line, with two shots from both Lockridge and Roberson, over the next 1:12, and they led 72-68.
North missed a chance to put the game away by not converting a transition layup after a steal, and McDonald scored again for West Union to cut the deficit to 72-70 with 28 seconds to play. Meaders gave the Vikings a one-possession, 73-70 lead by hitting a free throw at the 16.8 second mark, and after a defensive stop, Roberson put the game away with another free throw with 4 seconds left.