Vikings ride 1st half to tourney win

By Joshua Brown

February 18, 2014

Staff Reports

TIPP CITY — Miami East rode a strong first half to a tournament win Monday.

But Viking coach Preston Elifritz knows that won’t be good enough from this point on.

Still, the top-seeded Vikings (21-1) won easily, outscoring No. 7 West Liberty-Salem 31-13 in the first half and cruising to a 65-42 victory in the second round of the Division III sectional girls basketball tournament Monday at Tippecanoe High School.

“We did what we kind of always do — we came out like gangbusters then, whether it’s a mental lapse or being physically tired, we had kind of anti-run in the second half,” Elifritz said. “But we got a tournament win under our belt. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win.”

Trina Current and Renee DeFord each scored 15 points, Ashley Current and Angie Mack added eight and Ellie Gearhart and Emily Kindell scored six apiece to lead the Vikings. And while the Tigers (12-11) got their offense going in the third quarter, they still couldn’t stop Miami East, which outscored them 34-29 in the second half.

“We discussed some disappointments we had in the third quarter, like our need to maintain defensive composure at the end of the third,” Elifritz said. “They scored on their last eight possessions of the third. Going into the fourth we changed personnel a little, as well as some of what we were doing defensively, and I thought we finished well.”

But now Miami East will face a very familiar opponent — the rival Anna Rockets — Thursday night in the sectional championship game. Anna, the No. 3 seed which defeated National Trail 53-36 Monday night, has eliminated the Vikings the past two seasons in a row in the regional tournament, but the Vikings scored a 47-36 victory over the Rockets during the regular season.

“It’s another opportunity for us to play a quality team,” Elifritz said. “There’s a lot of history there, and the girls are looking forward to it. We’re preparing for a full 32-minute game. We know Anna’s going to give us everything they have. From here on out, everyone’s back is to the wall and they’ll be doing the same.”

• Division IV Sectional

Covington 50,

Dayton Christian 16

BROOKVILLE — Covington’s defense gave No. 11 Dayton Christian (2-19) no room to work Tuesday night as the sixth-seeded Buccaneers (12-12) advanced to Saturday’s Division IV sectional title game with a 50-16 victory at Brookville High School.

Arianna Richards hits four of the Buccs’ eight 3-pointers as a team and led the way with 19 points. Jessie Crowell added 11 and Carly Shell scored eight as Covington pulled out to a 10-2 lead after one quarter, led 20-8 at the half and put the game on ice by outscoring the Warriors 20-1 in the third quarter.

Covington will face No. 1 Tri-Village, a 59-25 winner Tuesday over No. 7 Franklin Monroe, Saturday for the sectional title.

Lehman 52,

Fairlawn 46

SIDNEY — The 10th-seeded Lehman Cavaliers made the most of their first-round bye Tuesday night, taking a one-point lead after three quarters and pulling away slightly in the fourth for a 52-46 victory over No. 8 Fairlawn in the Division IV sectional tournament at Sidney High School.

Maddie Franklin hit four 3s and scored 15 points and Julia Harrelson added 11 to lead the Cavs (7-14), who hit six 3-pointers in the game as a team — which normally would seem like a large total, but Fairlawn (9-15) connected on eight of them.

Lehman will face No. 1 Fort Loramie Saturday for the sectional championship.