Vikings survive opener
The Spring Valley Vikings spotted the Wilson Tigers an early seven-point lead before coming back to win the opening game of the Chick-fil-A Classic, 64-61, Monday, December 19, at Richland Northeast High School.
“It is big for morale,” an elated head coach Perry Dozier said outside the Vikings’ locker room after the game. “ We played against a very good team. It is good for us. We feel good—the kids, the school, everybody.”
The Vikings, now 6-3, advance in the winners’ bracket in the tournament. Devante Brooks led the Vikings with 17 points, followed by Perry Dozier Jr., with 15, and Austin Beamus with 10.
The Tigers, from Florence, S.C., are now 5-3 on the season. Guard Jared Charles racked up 18 points –all from 3-point range—while forwards Brandon Jones and Alandre Davis chipped in 15 and 11 points, respectively.
“Charles is a good shooter for us,” Wilson coach DeAndre Scott said after the game. “He made more than 50 3-pointers last year, so we know he is capable. He got some good looks tonight, and he converted them.”
After the initial Wilson lead, the Vikings went on a 13- 3 run, fueled by Jonathan Golden, Elihja Casey, and Beamus. The Vikings led by as many as nine before taking a 28-26 lead to the half.
“If guys are shooters, shooters eventually have to shoot their way into the game,” Dozier said. “A lot of it was being nervous and all that, and you knew they would settle down. You just hoped it wouldn’t be too late. I give them all the credit, because they never stopped fighting.”
Wilson tied the game early in the second half at 28- 28 and led by four at 39-35 with just under ten minutes to play. Dozier and Brooks chipped in a few 3-point bombs from the perimeter, and Christopher Griffin chipped in some inside scoring. The Tigers kept pace with balanced scoring and led 49- 48 when they called time out with 4:17 left. The Vikings went on a 9-2 run the next 1:48 that ensured the win.
“When you play a team you are not familiar with, you might have a little scouting report on them but you don’t know till you see them on the floor,” Wilson’s Scott said. “We knew they had a good set of guards, but we did not expect them to shoot as well as they did. They were coming off the pick and roll and shooting excellent shots.”
Percentages: FG .490, FT .400. 3-Point
Goals: 9-22, .409 (Jones 3-8, Ivery 0-2,
Charles 6-11, Rogers 0-1). Blocked Shots:
2 (Jones 1, Davis 1). Steals: 6 (Jones 1,
King 3, Rogers 2).
Percentages: FG .362, FT .636. 3-Point
Goals: 7-22, .318 (Taylor, D. 0-2, Brooks 4-
13, Dozier 3-7). Blocked Shots: 2 (Bryan 1,
Golden 1). Steals: 7 (Taylor, D. 1, Brooks 1,
Dozier 2, Beamus 1, Bryan 2).