(T-G Photo by Jimmy Jones)
They knocked it down on Friday night in a convincing 90-76 overtime win over visiting Fayetteville.
The very talented Tigers have wreaked havoc in District 9-A and had positioned themselves to post their seventh district win in 10 tries. But the Vikings exploded for 30 points in the four-point overtime, fueled by junior Tyler Paschal's clutch 3-point shooting.
"The kids stepped up and made big plays tonight," Viking coach Robbie Davis said. "Tyler Paschal is one of the best in the district from the 3-point line when he is on and he shot the lights out in overtime.
"Blake Fanning, Luke Primm and Zeke Grissom were all clutch from the free throw line and our defense stepped up when it needed to.
"I couldn't be more proud of these guys."
Community led 17-6 after one period and took a 35-27 advantage into the intermission.
The Tigers put together a nice 17-6 run against the Vikings out of the break to pull to within 43-41 after three quarters.
The fourth period treated the fans to five lead changes at breakneck speed with Luke Primm posting 11 points and Tanner Simmons netting six for the Vikings, who trailed by as many as five with three minutes to play. Nicholas Hopkins had nine for the visitors, including two 3-pointers.
Blake Fanning tied the game at 60 just before the buzzer sounded to ensure overtime.
Paschal opened the overtime with a 3-pointer from the wing and the Vikings never looked back as they blew away any effort by the Tigers to remain competitive with one of the best offensive efforts in a four-minute period in Community history.
Fayetteville was forced to foul in an effort to control the clock but the Viking shooters thwarted that strategy by connecting on 19-of-22 free throws to close out the game.
"We struggled in November but all of the hard knock lessons we learned are starting to manifest themselves," Davis said. "This is a resilient group of kids and they are just now learning how to endure rough stretches, overcome the obstacles and still find a way to keep their composure and win ball games.
"We are starting to gel together at the best time of year and we are playing our best basketball right now. It is fun to watch these kids play right now and we look forward to finishing strong."
Primm led all scorers with 28. Fanning and Simmons posted 16 apiece. Paschal totaled 14 for the Vikings.
James Keith netted 21 for the Tigers followed by Hopkins with 17, Aaron Parks 13, Michael Parks 12 and Thompson with 11.
Community hit 32-of-38 free throws in the contest.
Community welcomed MTCS to Roger K. Brothers Gym on Saturday night. Results were not available at press time.
Community 17 10 16 17 30 -- 90
Fayetteville 6 21 16 17 16 -- 76
Community (90): Primm 28, Fanning 16, Simmons 16, Paschal 14, Grissom 7, Pierce 6, Frost 3, Pride, Broiles.
Fayetteville (76): Keith 21, Hopkins 17, A Parks 13, M Parks 12, Thompson 11, D Thompson 2, Lawson, Hall.
3-point goals: Community 6, Fayetteville 6.
Halftime score Community 35, Fayetteville 27.