Note: This recap appears in the Wednesday, Dec. 5 newspaper on Page B2.
CHILLICOTHE — A young and inexperienced Vinton County High School boys basketball team surely didn’t seem like it on Saturday.
That’s because the Vikings, in sinking 10 three-point goals compared to none for Huntington, defeated Huntsmen 58-35 in the non-league season-opening Zane Trace Tipoff Classic.
Vinton County did trail Huntington 11-9 after the opening quarter, but the Vikings blitzed the Huntsmen over the final three quarters by a combined count of 49-24.
The Vikings tripled up the Huntsmen 15-5 in the second stanza, erupted for 20 third-period points, and finally doubled up Huntington 14-7 in the last.
Vinton County — following a 16-8 record from a year ago — graduated seven seniors, as its only returning experienced varsity players are 6-4 senior Eli Griffith and six-foot junior Gavin Arbaugh.
Arbaugh paced all scorers with 15 points. He also led with three three-point goals, as Lance Montgomery, Ricky Body and Ash Abele added two apiece and Aaron Stevens made one.
Montgomery scored 13 points, as Griffith garnered four two-pointers and a split of first-quarter free throws for nine.
Abele amounted eight points, while Body bagged six and Stevens a fourth-quarter three.
Will Arthur, with a fourth-quarter basket, and Trafford Dunn — with 2-of-4 second-half free throws — rounded out the Maroon and White.
The Vikings’ defense did the job, as only Nathan Snyder had double figures for Huntington, scoring 11 points on three field goals and 5-of-6 free throws.
Elijah McCloskey netted nine points on three buckets and 3-of-5 foul shots, as Snyder scored seven and McCloskey four in the first quarter alone.
But the Vikings kept pace in the period with threes by Montgomery and Abele, and three points by Griffith.
For the final three frames, all Huntington hit was 10 twos and four free throws.
The Vikings, the defending Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division champions, open their league and home schedule on Friday night by hosting Alexander.