With the prospects of playing for at least a share of the Mid-State League Buckeye Division championship on Friday, a non-league game on Tuesday against future Ohio Capital Conference Buckeye Division foe Groveport could have been considered a trap game for Teays Valley.
The Vikings went on a 20-10 run to open the second half on their way to what is still a 67-57 non-league win over the visiting Cruisers.
Teays Valley ended the first quarter trailing 16-13, but started to make its move in the second quarter to take a slim 28-25 lead into halftime.
“It was a physical and fast-paced game,” Teays Valley coach Brian Barnett said. “After we adjusted to the pace and physicality of the game in the first quarter then we were fine.”
Kole Nungester paced the Vikings in the second quarter with seven points.
“We played a solid game on the defensive end and we combined that we taking some good shots on the other end of the court to get a little bit of a lead going into halftime,” Barnett said.
Brayden Primmer led the scoring punch in the decisive third quarter with seven points.
Teays Valley led by as many as 15 points in the early going of the fourth quarter before a run by Groveport cut the lead down to five points with three minutes and 30 seconds remaining.
Brody Fields knocked down a key three that stemmed the tide and, from there, the Vikings closed out their 15th win of the season at the free throw line.
“We did a nice job of taking care of the basketball down the stretch and making our free throws,” Barnett said.
Fields led the way with seven points in the quarter and Sam Miller chipped in six.
Tyreke Ruffin finished with 14 points and Malcolm Mason added 12 to lead the Cruisers (4-15).
The Vikings nearly put five players into double figures scoring. Miller led all scorers with 17 points, Nungester tallied 15, Ryan Allton had 13, Fields tossed in 12 and Primmer added nine.
Fairfield Union (18-3, 12-1) defeated Circleville 59-48 last night to officially pull into a tie for first in the league with the Vikings (15-4, 12-1).
Both teams conclude league play for the season on Friday, as the Vikings travel to Liberty Union and the Falcons host Bloom-Carroll.