Vikings falter late against top-ranked Warriors

By Brad Morris

SportingPumpkin.com

ASHVILLE  — Coming off the worst loss of the season  — a 71-51 setback against Fairfield Union  — coach Trevor Younkin was pleased to see the way the Teays Valley Vikings bounced back in 24 hours on Friday and competed against Division III state top-ranked Worthington Christian.

Teays Valley led for a majority of the second half, but faltered down the stretch, scoring just one point over the final four minutes and 40 seconds of a non-league game while committing six turnovers in a 40-35 loss to the visiting Warriors.

“Our girls came to play and I was really pleased with the way we battled and competed as a team against a top-ranked team like Worthington Christian. It was night and day compared to the way we played against Fairfield Union,” Younkin said. “We talk about it isn’t one shot or one missed free throw or one turnover that makes the difference in a game, but a culmination of things that add up.

“We didn’t execute as well as we needed in a few spurts tonight and, unfortunately, one of those spurts was to end the game.”

Teays Valley’s Abby Tier sticks in two of her six points.

Kennedy Younkin posted a double-double of 11 points, 18 rebounds and also blocked three shots to lead the Vikings. Abby Tier contributed six points and three assists, Kayla Cline also scored six points and Alyssa Horsley accounted for five points, seven rebounds and three assists.

The Vikings entered the second half trailing 21-18 but rallied by scoring the first seven points of the quarter.

Gabrielle Watkins opened the half with a layup, and Tier and Younkin split a pair of free throws to give the Vikings the lead.

Tier then took a feed from Horsley and drained a triple from the right wing to give the Vikings their largest lead of the night at 25-21.

“I was really pleased with the way we handled the basketball during the third quarter and executed our offense,” Younkin said. “On one of the possessions we scored, we made six or seven passes before putting up a shot. Our girls were very patient and that patience was rewarded with good looks at the basket.

A basket from Younkin and a three-pointer in the left corner courtesy of Cooper McManaway off a dish from Horsley kept the Vikings in front and allowed them to take a 30-28 lead into the fourth quarter.

Watkins canned a 10-foot jumper off the left baseline and Younkin later scored on a putback to give the Vikings their final two leads of the evening.

Teays Valley’s Kennedy Younkin lays in two of her team-high 11 points.

A pair of free throws from Faith King tied the game and two free throws by Meghan Mayotte put the Warriors (16-1) ahead to stay at 36-34 with 1:14 remaining.

Horsley scored the final point of the game with 34.8 seconds remaining for the Vikings by splitting two free throws.

Two more free throws from Mayotte and a pair courtesy of Natalie Woodfin allowed the Warriors to put away their 16th win of the season.

Teays Valley committed 19 turnovers compared to 11 for Worthington Christian and made just 6 of 13 (46.2 percent) free throws to 13 of 15 (86.7 percent) by the Warriors.

“Those were two areas that obviously hurt us,” Younkin said. “A lot of our girls play AAU and sometimes we think we can pass the ball into a super tight window, and that doesn’t work in high school where teams play much better defense.

“Like a lot of teams, we work on free throw shooting a lot, but they just weren’t falling consistently tonight.”

Mayotte led all scorers with 14 points for the Warriors, Woodfin had eight and Jamie Custer added seven.

The Vikings (14-5, 9-2) resume Mid-State League Buckeye Division play on Tuesday tied for first with Bloom-Carroll (12-6, 9-2).

Teays Valley travels to Hamilton Township on Tuesday and Circleville on Saturday before closing the league slate on Feb. 3 when it hosts Liberty Union.

“If we compete like we did tonight and clean up our execution a little more, I think that will put us into a good position here to finish the regular season and try to win at least a share of the league championship,” Younkin said. “We have to take it one game as a time, which is a lesson we learned the hard way this week, and we need to be laser focused for Hamilton Township on Tuesday.”

Worthington Christian 40,

Teays Valley 35

WORTHINGTON CHRISTIAN — Faith King 1-4-6, Courtney Staggs 1-0-3, Natalie Woodfin 2-2-8, Jamie Custer 2-3-7, Brooke Winfree 1-0-2, Meghan Mayotte 4-4-14. Three-point goals — Mayotte (2), Woodfin (2) and Staggs. Total — 11-47 13-15 40.
TEAYS VALLEY Abby Tier 2-1-6, Cooper McManaway 1-0-3, Kayla Cline 2-0-6, Kennedy Younkin 4-3-11, Alyssa Horsley 1-2-5, Gabrielle Watkins 2-0-4. Three-point goals — Cline (2), Tier, Horsley and McManaway. Total — 12-40 6-13 35.

Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Wor. Christian 10 11 7 12 40
Teays Valley 10 8 12 5 35

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