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Vikes’ late comeback try falls short

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2023 at 9:47 pm

Post Photo by Rickey Clardy Maki Fleming drives to the basket for the Vikings. Fleming had 19 points for Community.

By Rickey Clardy
Sports Writer
UNIONVILLE — The Community Vikings turned up the defense to cut a double-digit deficit to three points in the final seconds, but the Vikings could not get over the hump as the Mt. Pleasant Tigers defeated Community 63-57 in a basketball contest Monday night.
The Vikings matched the Tigers for the first five minutes of the game and held a 7-6 lead before Mt. Pleasant used an 11-0 run to take a 17-7 advantage.
The Tigers would stay in front for the remainder of the game and took a 17-9 lead to the second quarter.
With Austin Stickler scoring eight points in the paint, the Vikings cut the Tiger lead to four three times in the second quarter and trailed 21-17 with 4:18 left.
The Tigers increased their lead to 10 and led 29-21 at the break.
“Turnovers are something that plagued us in the early going,” Coach Robbie Davis of the Vikings said. “Our timing in our offense was off and we were making either the wrong read or our passes were late getting to where they needed to be.”
The Tigers came out hot in the second half and took their biggest lead at 39-23 with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter before the Vikings came to life.
Led by 10 points from Maki Fleming and five points from Landon Lovvorn, the Vikings scored the next six points of the game and trailed the Tigers 48-39 heading to the final quarter.
The Vikings could not cut into the Tiger lead for most of the quarter as Mt. Pleasant led 60-49 with 2:44 left before the Vikings came back.
With seven points each from Fleming and Lovvorn and a full court pressure defense that forced the Tigers to turn the ball over, Community went on an 8-0 run to cut the Tiger lead to 60-57 with 34 seconds remaining.
The Viking press continued, but the Tigers were able to solve the pressure and scored the final three points to take the win.
Nick Brown had 18 points to lead four Tigers in double figures.  Jakyri McClure scored 13 points while Micah Dale and Ryan Benderman each added 11.
Fleming had 19 points to lead three Vikings in double figures.  Lovvorn netted 16 points while Stickler added 12.
The Tigers were 11-of-16 at the free throw line while the Vikings were 9-of-18.
“Our press group at the end of the game gave us a spark,” Davis said.  “But if we can’t make free throws and easy shots, getting into an offensive flow isn’t going to help much.”
“It’s tough when you keep digging holes for yourself,” Davis added.

Mt. Pleasant  17  12  19  15 — 63
Community      9  12  18  18 — 57

Mt. Pleasant: Jakyri McClure 13, Micah Dale 11, Ryan Benderman 11, Hayden Holt 7, Bennett Hughes 3, Nick Brown 18, Avery Johnson, Hardin Hughes.
Community: Maki Fleming 19, Landon Lovvorn 16, Austin Stickler 12, Judd O’Neal 4, Landon Berman 2, Noah Watson 3, Charlie Haskins 1, Jaxon Williams, Moe Berman, Gunnar McGowan, Hunter Hill, Joshua Powers, Johnathon Lawwell.
3-Point goals: Mt. Pleasant (2): Brown, Dale; Community (3): Lovvorn 2, Fleming.
Halftime score: Mt. Pleasant 29, Community 21.