(T-G Photo by Jimmy Jones)
The Community Vikings stood toe-to-toe, took some blows, and administered some of their own in an outstanding game against District 9-A leader MTCS in front of a large crowd at Roger K. Brothers Gym on Saturday night.
After a slow start, they trailed by 10 in the first quarter, scored at the horn to tie in the fourth period, led by six in overtime, dominated the boards, and created havoc with a swarming press to lead by a point with just six seconds to play.
Missed free throws started the downward turn and it ended in the most incredulous way possible when Justin Winn, who had exactly zero points after five periods of play, hit the game-winning layup as the horn sounded to give his team a 66-65 win.
Community, playing in consecutive games for the second time in successive weeks, stormed back from a 12-2 deficit in the first period to trail 25-14 and then took it to the visitors to pull to within 32-31 at the half.
Defense was at a premium for the Vikings in the third period as they held the Cougars to just two field goals and a free throw. Tyler Broiles netted a 3-pointer and four Vikings added two points each to tack on a 43-37 advantage going into the fourth.
"I was really proud of the guys for keeping their composure and getting themselves back into the game after a slow start," Viking coach Robbie Davis said. "Some of our younger kids really stepped up when the starters became fatigued and they helped us not only get back in the game but allowed some legs to get refreshed.
"That was huge as the game progressed."
The Vikings (8-11, 2-8 9-A) continued to hold the advantage to six and looked as if they would bump it to at least eight when Luke Primm soared over his defender, hit the basket and the ref closest to the play called a foul on the flopper. As Primm started to the foul line, a second referee, whose whistle was never heard, approached his partner and promptly overruled him. The resulting offense charge precipitated a six point swing in favor of the visitors and placed the ever elusive momentum directly in the Cougars lap.
"We had played so well up to that point and the call reversal kind of took some of the air out of us," Davis said. "Before we could regroup they got on a little roll and tied the game.
"Luke made a nice drive. One guy saw it our way and one saw it the other. We can't control that. We just have to play on at that point."
(T-G Photo by Jimmy Jones)
The two squads took turns with the lead before Logan Pierce hit a free throw to put the Vikings up 65-64.
Winn slipped away from his defender, took a bounce pass, and ended it with an uncontested lay up to finish the game.
The win gave the Cougars the season sweep. Three points separated the teams in the two games.
David Capps earned game high honors with 18 points. Luke Howell and Derrick Spears had 14 each and Ben Brown pitched in with 12.
Simmons led the Community effort with 17 points. Primm added 10.
Community was a dismal 14-of-25 from the charity stripe including 5-of-9 in overtime.
The Vikings ride over to Eagleville tonight for a 7:30 start.
MTCS (66): Capps 18, Spears 14, Howell 14, Brown 12, Hageman 4, Winn 2, Peck.
Community (65) Simmons 17, Primm 10, Pierce 8, Fanning 6, Cowan 6, Paschal 6, Grissom 5, Pride 4, Broiles 3.
3-point goals: CHS 5, MTC 5.
Halftime score: MTCS 32, CHS 31.