Viking comeback try falls short

Sunday, January 28, 2018
Dillon Whitaker (21) of the Vikings is fouled as he drives to the basket. Whitaker led Community with 23 points.
T-G Photo by Rickey Clardy

UNIONVILLE – The Community Vikings cut a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to two points late, but could not claim the lead as the Marshall County Tigers defeated the Vikings 80-78 in a District 12-AA contest Friday night.

The Vikings had to battle the hot shooting of K. J. Johnson, who poured in 43 points for the Tigers.

“I don’t know what you say,” Coach Robbie Davis of the Vikings said. “He’s making them from 35 feet. There’s not really much you can do when a kid’s on a roll like that.”

Dillon Whitaker scored the last 10 points of the first quarter as Community (9-11, 0-4 District 12-AA) stayed close with the Tigers. The Vikings led before Johnson’s trey just before the buzzer gave Marshall County a 14-13 lead heading to the second quarter.

Tigers take off

The lead changed hands six times in the quarter before Marshall County went on a 6-0 run to increase its advantage to 39-30. Kobe Pride scored seven points for the Vikings while Johnson’s 15 points helped the Tigers take a 41-36 halftime lead.

Whitaker scored seven points in the third quarter as Community reclaimed a 47-45 lead with 3:56 remaining.

The Tigers rebounded with a 6-0 run and took a 62-53 lead to the final quarter.

With Johnson scoring 11 points, Marshall County scored the first eight points of the quarter and took its biggest lead at 70-53 with 6:25 remaining before the Vikings started their comeback.

Led by seven points from Alex Mitchell, Community went on a 10-0 run to cut the Tiger lead to 72-65 with 4:25 remaining.

The Vikings used a trey from Mitchell and two free throws from Tyrese Eady in a two-second time span to trim the Tiger lead to 77-74 with 1:02 left.

Mitchell’s basket put Community within two at 78-76 with 10 seconds remaining, but Johnson’s free throws insured the win for Marshall County.

Marcus Dodson scored 16 points to go along with Johnson’s output for the Tigers.

Top Viking

Whitaker led four Vikings in double figures with 23 points. Mitchell scored 16 points while Pride had 11. Thomas Buchanan added 10 points.

Marshall County was 19-of-29 at the charity stripe, while Community was 15-of-21.

“I was proud of the way we competed,” Davis said. “We had a shot at the end. That’s all you can ask for.”

“It was a good atmosphere, The crowd was into it. The student section was huge tonight, It was like having another player on the floor.”

Community travels to Giles County Tuesday night for a district contest. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Marshall Co. 14 27 21 18 - 80

Community 13 23 17 25 - 78

Marshall County: K. J. Johnson 43, Marcus Dodson 16, Canelius Turner 7, Keshun Gentry 6, Andrew Gold, Jaleel Howard 4, Taylor Clark 4, A’ky Howard.

Community: Dillon Whitaker 23, Alex Mitchell 16, Kobe Pride 11, Thomas Buchanan 10, Tyrese Eady 8, Corde Lane 6, Grayson Garrette 4, Will Reed.

3-Point goals: Marshall County (7): Johnson 5, Turner 2; Community (7): Mitchell 3, Whitaker 2, Buchanan 2.

Halftime score: Marshall County 41, Community 36.