BIDWELL, Ohio — With any mammoth upset bid far no longer a threat, and with River Valley’s Senior Night since spoiled on the scoreboard, the only question remaining on Tuesday night was whether the visiting Vikings would hit 100.
The answer was yes —and in school record-setting fashion.
In establishing a new Vinton County High School boys basketball record for most points scored in a single game, the talented and highly-touted Vikings —ranked sixth in this week’s Associated Press Division II statewide poll, routed the Raiders 104-51 in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division tilt.
These Vikings are official school-record holders, breaking the previous mark of 103 points in a game.
Tuesday’s triumph marked the second time this season that VCHS had reached the century mark — with the other being a 100-52 win at Nelsonville-York.
Vinton County reached the newest plateau by dominating the final 28-and-a-half minutes.
The Vikings never trailed, and the closest River Valley got was a 3-2 deficit only two minutes and 10 seconds in.
The Vikings held a slim 7-5 advantage at the 4:38 mark of the opening quarter, then closed the canto with a 16-2 run that jump-started a historic evening.
Vinton County led 23-7 following the first period, then outscored the Raiders 24-13 in the second stanza —staking a commanding 47-20 halftime bulge.
It only increased from there.
The Maroon and White went off for a 31-14 advantage in the third frame, followed by a 26-17 outscoring of the Raiders in the fourth.
Then, finally, with 2:19 remaining, the Vikings reached 100 on the second of two foul shots by Kurtis Vickers.
Two more VCHS baskets in the final minute-and-a-half made it 104-51 —which was also the Vikings’ largest lead of the entire night.
“I was real concerned coming into this game. It’s a long road trip for us on a Tuesday night, and this has traditionally been a tough place for us to play for whatever reason. And River Valley has been playing well. I think they were 5-4 in their last nine games. But I thought our guys stayed focused on this game tonight and answered the bell,” said veteran VCHS coach Matt Combs. “We got off to a good start in the first quarter, and that gave us what we needed the rest of the way. I just thought we played better offensively and defensively too.”
That the Vikings did —amassing 36 total field goals including a dozen three-pointers —while also meshing 20-of-35 free-throw attempts.
With the win, Vinton County climbed to 17-1 —and remains atop the TVC-Ohio at 9-1.
The Vikings are the defending division champions, and only need home wins over Alexander and Wellston in their final two league bouts to lock up another crown.
“They (Vikings) are a good basketball team. They played well tonight. They share the ball, play fast, they make the extra pass, knock down the open shot, and Coach (Matt) Combs does a tremendous job of coaching those guys to do exactly what he tells them to do,” said River Valley coach Bryan Drummond. “And that’s what we’re trying to do. But how many early layups did we miss? A dozen or more? That changed the tempo of the game. Take nothing away from Vinton County tonight, but we have to get better and we have to want to be better. Then points off turnovers were not in our favor tonight either, and that’s why the game got out of hand.”
The game got away from the Raiders roughly halfway through the first quarter.
River Valley struggled with turnovers, missed shots from short range, and endured foul trouble with three key players all picking up a pair.
Those would be seniors Jacob Dovenbarger and Tre Craycraft, and junior Jarret McCarley.
After Tristan Bartoe’s old-fashioned three-point play made it 14-5 with two minutes remaining, the Raiders never got within seven points again.
In fact, in the final 4:38 of the first, Dovenbarger’s putback at the 55-second mark were River Valley’s only points.
Three Vikings — Bartoe (26 points), Naylen Yates (24 points) and Derick Jones (21 points) —all amounted at least 21.
Bartoe bucketed eight total field goals and 9-of-11 free throws, while Yates racked up nine total field goals —including five threes.
Jones finished with eight field goals —three of which were trifectas.
Dustin Barber paced the Raiders with 12 points —on four field goals and 3-of-6 foul shots.
Dovenbarger bagged five baskets and a freebie for 11 points, while Craycraft —on a triple and 5-of-8 free throws —added eight.
McCarley, Layne Fitch and Ian Polcyn posted five points apiece, followed by two baskets by Jacob Campbell — and a fourth-quarter free throw by Jordan Burns.
The loss left the Raiders at 7-13 — and 2-8 in the league.
Drummond also discussed his three Silver & Black seniors —Dovenbarger, Craycraft and Polcyn.
“These three seniors have grown so much —basketball aside,” said Drummond. “Ian and Tre played very little last year. And they are two of our guys that we’ve used a lot this year. And Dove (Dovenbarger) has been our one go-to guy all year.”
The Raiders’ final two regular-season affairs are on the road — including on Friday night at Nelsonville-York.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106