By Jacob Merideth
ASHVILLE — Teays Valley coach Brian Barnett entered Saturday night concerned about his team playing its third game in five days.
“I knew mentally we were going to be there, but our legs turned out to be a little shaky as this was our third game in five days,” he said. “Thursday (a 66-63 overtime win over Bloom-Carroll) was tough and our practice on Friday was basically a shoot around, so we knew the first three minutes tonight would be a telltale sign.”
That telltale sign included the Vikings getting off to a solid start and then delivering a second quarter knockout blow to rout visiting Liberty Union 66-43 in a Mid-State League Buckeye Division game.
The Vikings (8-3, 7-0) end the first round of league play alone in first place, a game ahead of Fairfield Union (8-2, 5-1) and two ahead of Bloom-Carroll (6-3, 5-2), which fell 51-39 last night to the Falcons.
Ryan Allton led a balanced scoring effort for the Vikings with 15 points, Brody Fields followed with 14, Kole Nungester tallied 11, Sam Miller had nine points and grabbed six rebounds and Brayden primmer contributed six points and six rebounds.
Baskets by Miller and Nungester were able to get the Vikings off to a quick start on the evening as they ended a high-paced first quarter with a 19-14 lead.
The Vikings had five players contribute to the scoring, paced by Nungester knocking down three shots, including one from distance, for seven points, and Fields and Allton chipping in four apiece.
Teays Valley made its move in the second quarter, outscoring Liberty Union 15-4 to take a commanding 34-18 halftime advantage.
The Vikings held the Lions to just two field goals in the period, one each by Landon Piccirillo and Cooper Manson. Teays Valley also forced Liberty Union into 10 first-half turnovers and 22 for the game.
“We did a good job of taking away what Liberty Union wanted to do with our defense,” Barnett said. “We really got into our scouting report there in the second quarter and our defensive pressure was much better.”
Offensively, the Vikings were led during the period by Miller scoring a pair of baskets and draining two free throws and Fields knocking down a triple and adding one more field goal.
The Vikings knocked down 26 of 54 (48.1 percent) shots on the night, compared to the Lions hitting 18 of 50 (36 percent) attempts.
Noah Shook tallied 15 points, Piccirillo had eight points and Luke Williams added seven to pace the Lions (6-5, 3-4).
The Vikings continue league play on Friday at Logan Elm (4-6, 3-4).
Teays Valley 66,
Liberty Union 43
LIBERTY UNION — Slade McClaskey 1-0-2, Noah Shook 7-1-15, Cole Flanagan 1-2-5, Landon Piccirillo 3-0-8, Cooper Manson 2-0-4, Austin McClure 1-0-2, Luke Williams 3-1-7. Three-point goals — Piccirillo (2), Flanagan. Total — 18-50 4-5 43.
TEAYS VALLEY — Kole Nungester 5-0-11, Brody Fields 6-0-14, Luke Burgett 1-0-3, Owen Hoffhines 1-0-2, Ryan Allton 5-5-15, Riley Dick 1-0-2, Ivan Smith 2-0-4, Brayden Primmer 2-2-6, Sam Miller 3-3-9. Three-point goals — Fields (2), Nungester and Burgett. Total — 26-54 10-11 66.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Liberty Union 14 4 12 13 43
Teays Valley 19 15 16 16 66