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Vikings can’t cash in on opportunities, fall in 9-AA semis

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 11:35 pm

Post Photo by Chris Siers Landon Lovvorn skies above the Yellowjacket defense and scores. He led the Vikings with 26 points on Wednesday.

BELL BUCKLE — There were plenty of chances, but in the end, the No. 2 Community Vikings (12-15) just couldn’t cash in their chips in a 75-65 District 9-AA semifinal loss to No. 3 seed Grundy County.
The Yellowjackets gave the Vikings plenty of chances to overcome a double-digit deficit toward the end of regulation.
In the final 1:30 of regulation, Community fouled Grundy County (19-15) several times, forcing the Yellowjackets to the line several times.
Collectively, Grundy County managed just 9-of-21 fourth-quarter attempts.
While the Vikings were fouling to send Grundy County to the charity stripe, it was Community’s Maki Fleming who dominated the fourth quarter.
Fleming torched the Jacket defense for 13 points in the fourth, including three treys, while Landon Lovvorn rattled loose for two more.
As a team, Community connected on 10 3-pointers in the game.
Community hung tough and trailed the Jackets by just a single possession after the first quarter, but the Vikings struggled to connect on shots from the floor to open the second frame.
Community’s first basket didn’t fall until inside the five-minute mark.
During the second, Grundy went on a 22-12 run to lead 37-25.
The Vikings rallied around Lovvorn in the third, who was virtually unstoppable in the half-court, torching the Jackets for 11 points to lead a 21-point Community third.
In the end, Lovvorn totaled 24 points, while Fleming added 18, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter alone.
Grundy County’s Sam Parson led all scorers with 26 points.
The Yellowjackets nearly cost themselves, shooting just 17-of-33 free throw attempts, contrasted to Community, who made 7-of-10 attempts at the line.
The meeting against Grundy County was the third-straight against the Yellowjackets, in which Grundy County has now claimed two-straight wins against Community.
The loss sets up an intra-county rematch against arch-rival Cascade on Friday night at 6 p.m. for the 9-AA consolation game.
The Vikings split the regular season meetings with the Champions, taking a 72-52 win in early January, but falling 60-48 in their second meeting.
Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. on Friday at Cascade.

Grundy Co. 15 22 17 22 — 75
Community 13 12 21 19 — 65

Grundy Co.: Sam Parson 26, Brady Everett 12, Nate Roberts 12, Reece Strong 8, Bryce Harwell 8, Dylan Garcia 6, Garrick Easterly 3.
Community: Landon Lovvorn 24, Maki Fleming 18, Charlie Haskins 9, Austin Stickler 7, Landon Berman 4, Jaxon Williams 3.
3-Point goals: Grundy Co. (6): Roberts 4, Harwell, Easterly; Community (10): Lovvorn 4, Fleming 4, Williams, Haskins.
Halftime score: Grundy Co. 37, Community 25.