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Boys Basketball: Spartans’ slide continues with 5th-straight loss
Losing their last four contests by an average of more than 23 points a game, Alexander was hoping to get back on the right track against Vinton Country Friday night. But the Vikings had other plans as they added to the Spartans’ woes by winning 67-44.
After starting the season 2-2, Alexander has dropped five straight, and though a postseason bid is still possible, the Spartans are going to need wins and some help.
At home on Friday, Vinton County came out of the gate blazing, out-rebounding the Spartans on the offensive glass by double-digits and adding to the scoreboard with numerous follow-up buckets.
“First half, I just didn’t think that we hustled,” Alexander coach Blaine Gabriel said. “We gave up way too much easy stuff, got in early foul trouble, not moving our feet and (it) dug us in a big hole.”
The Vikings had three players with double-digit point totals, most of which came from under the basket as the Spartans got out-muscled and out-rebounded the entire game.
“I think it’s partly size, but we’re not really that big either.” Vinton County coach Matt Combs said. “Those are two pretty small basketball teams tonight, but our kids did a good job because one of the things we focus on is getting on the boards and I thought in the first half that was the difference.”
The Spartans’ lone surge came in the third quarter when they cut the lead to 14 points, but Vinton County made the Spartans’ comeback bid short-lived.
Alexander scored only three points in the fourth quarter.
“(We) did make a run in the third quarter, and you know when you’re making a run you’ve got to make sure you’re making your shots, and we missed some foul shots and that kind of stuff’s tough,” Gabriel said.
The lone bright spot for Alexander was the play of Braden Jones. Jones led all scorers with 26 points, 20 of which came in the second half.
“Braden in the first half put himself in a hole, in foul trouble,” Gabriel said. “He’s our offensive player and in the second half, he did a nice job. But in the first half, you’ve got to come ready to play.”
Alexander will get another chance to end its slide when it faces Nelsonville-York on Tuesday.