By Rickey Clardy
UNIONVILLE — For several of their games this season, the Community Vikings held leads but were not able to seal the deal.
That script looked to play out again Friday night, but the Vikings reversed the ending.
After losing its first-quarter lead, Community (4-8) rallied with an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter to erase a Macon County Tiger 7-point advantage and held on for a 51-49 basketball victory.
With all 14 players on the roster seeing action and 10 netting points, it was the definition of a team victory for the Vikings.
“When 14 play and 10 get in the scorebook and some are doing the little things like Judd O’Neal taking a charge or Hunter Hill making two huge three-point shots, this is what a team truly looks like,” Coach Robbie Davis of the Vikings said. “Everyone accepting their role and doing their job and no one caring who gets the credit is what we preach every day in practice.”
Maki Fleming, Jaxon Williams, Joshua Powers, and Hill all nailed treys in the opening quarter as the Vikings scored the final eight points and took a 19-13 lead to the second quarter.
“We came out ready to play,” Davis said. “Being our first home game in the last six games, our guys really fed off the home crowd and the student section which was amazing tonight.”
But the Vikings cooled off in the second quarter as Macon County took the lead.
Charlie Haskins had four of the seven points for the Vikings as the Tigers outscored Community 17-7 and took a 30-26 lead at the intermission.
Fleming scored six points in the third quarter while Landon Berman and Hill each added treys, but Macon County still held on to its lead.
The Vikings got within one before the Tigers stretched their lead to 43-38 heading to the fourth quarter.
The Tigers scored the first two points of the quarter and equaled their biggest lead at 45-38 with 5:53 left before the Vikings went to work.
Landon Lovvorn scored six points as the Vikings went through their 11-0 run in an intense four minutes to take a 49-45 lead with 1:15 to play. Despite two baskets by the Tigers, the Vikings held on to their lead with two free throws down the stretch and led 51-49 with 13 seconds left, setting the stage for one final Tiger possession.
With two fouls to give, the Vikings took time off the clock and kept the Tigers in the backcourt for the early part of the Macon County possession. The Tigers were able to move to the front court and get a shot off from the side that missed the mark as the Vikings took the win.
“Macon County plays a very physical style of basketball which is what our guys need going into district play,” Davis said.
“Most of our bench is made up of freshmen and sophomores who are still learning the game and their roles on the team, but all of them were exceptionally focused tonight,” Davis added.
Fleming finished with 11 points to lead the Vikings. Seven Community players had at least one trey in the contest.
Brady Driver and McKade Mix had 11 points to pace the Tigers.
The Vikings were 9-of-17 at the line while the Tigers were 9-of-16.
Community plays hosts to East Hickman Monday night at 6:30 p.m. as the Vikings started a stretch of three games to close out their non-district slate before opening district play in January.
“I do like the direction we are slowly starting to go and I love how our guys have learned to battle when it gets tough,” Davis said.
“After this week we will take a much-deserved break and come back January 1 ready for district play January 5 at home,” Davis added.
Macon Co. 13 17 13 6 — 49
Community 19 7 12 13 — 51
Macon Co.: Brady Driver 13, McKade Mix 11, Dalton Hudson 9, Cason Gregory 8, Braylon Flowers 4, Braylon Marshall 2, Logan Bandy 2, John Krantz.
Community: Maki Fleming 11, Charlie Haskins 9, Landon Lovvorn 6, Landon Berman 6, Joshua Powers 4, Hunter Hill 6, Moe Berman 3, Jaxon Williams 3, Noah Watson 2, Austin Stickler 1, Judd O’Neal, Gunnar McGowan, Johnathon Lawwell, Zachary Leathers.
3-Point goals: Macon Co.(4): Driver 2, Mix, Hudson; Community (8): Hill 2, Fleming, Lovvorn, L. Berman, Powers, Williams, M. Berman.
Halftime score: Macon Co. 30, Community 26.