By Jacob Merideth
ASHVILLE — A cold Tuesday night extended past the doors to Teays Valley High School and into the gymnasium where the host Vikings were checked to just four first-quarter points.
Fortunately, the Vikings threw a few logs on the fire and used a balanced scoring effort to rally from an early seven-point deficit and eventually put away a determined Hamilton Township squad with a 70-60 Mid-State League Buckeye Division win.
Brayden Primmer was one of four Vikings to reach double figures with 14 points while also adding six rebounds. Kole Nungester and Brody Fields scored 13 points apiece, and Sam Miller contributed a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Vikings shot just 2 of 11 (18.2 percent) in the first quarter and were limited to a pair of jump shots from Primmer, as the Rangers grabbed an early 11-4 advantage.
“We were just flat and out of our routine,” Teays Valley coach Brian Barnett said. “We didn’t have school and our guys were probably laying around today. In the first, we just looked lethargic.
“I’m not sure if it was Hamilton Township’s defense or us, but our shots were just not falling.”
The Vikings started to heat up in the second quarter and outscored the Rangers 20-5 on their way to a 24-16 halftime advantage.
Miller started the quarter with a hard drive and later drained consecutive free throws. Luke Burgett added a rhythm three to help spark the Vikings’ run.
“Luke’s play was huge and he added momentum off the bench for us tonight,” Barnett observed. “He hit some big shots when we really needed it.”
Burgett scored all seven of his points in the second to pace the Vikings, Miller contributed six and Fields added a pair of baskets for five points.
It was the Jo McBride show in the second half for the Rangers, as the talented freshman guard scored 29 of his game-high 37 points.
“We threw everything we could at (McBride), but he is a really great player and nothing really worked,” Barnett said.
The Rangers (5-13, 3-9) closed to within a point of the Vikings on two separate occasions, before Teays Valley was able to take a thin 44-40 advantage into the final period of play.
Teays Valley scored 16 of the first 26 points of the fourth quarter, highlighted by Nungester draining a three from the left wing off a Ryan Allton feed, grabbing an offensive rebound and then driving in from the right wing for two and then hitting a stop-and-pop jumper from 14 feet out on the right wing.
Allton added four free throws during the run, with his final pair, giving the Vikings a 60-50 lead with 2:17 remaining.
Allton scored six of his nine points during the fourth quarter, all at the line, and Nungester and Miller also scored six apiece.
The Vikings were 15 of 16 (93.8 percent) at the line in the fourth quarter and 19 of 21 (90.5 percent) for the game, compared to the Rangers hitting on only 6 of 13 (46.1 percent) attempts.
“Our kids did exactly what you want them to do in that situation,” Barnett said. “We had the lead, and we were able to get to the free throw line and knock them down.”
The Vikings (13-4, 11-1) continue league play on Saturday when they host Circleville.
Teays Valley 70,
Hamilton Township 60
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Brady Holt 1-0-3, Josh Woods 4-0-12, Jovon McBride 13-6-37, Trent Renz 3-0-6, AJ Cain-Jackson 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Jovon McBride (5), Woods (4) and Holt.. Total — 22-51 6-13 60.
TEAYS VALLEY — Kole Nungester 5-1-13, Brody Fields 5-2-13, Luke Burgett 3-0-7, Ryan Allton 1-6-9, Ivan Smith 1-0-2, Brayden Primmer 5-4-14, Sam Miller 3-6-12. Three-point goals — Nungester (2), Fields, Burgett and Allton. Total — 23-46 19-21 70.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Hamilton Twp. 11 5 24 20 60
Teays Valley 4 20 20 26 70