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Buzzer-beater doesn't fall, Vikings lose 38-36

Feb. 27—Zeke Tanoos' contested 3-pointer looked like it was going in Tuesday night for a dramatic win for his West Vigo team at the Class 3A Owen Valley boys high school basketball sectional.

But it caught too much rim, Derrek Atkinson was there to corral his game-high eighth rebound and the host Patriots had taken advantage of a hot fourth quarter to advance by a 38-36 score.

Owen Valley plays Northview at 6 p.m. Friday in the first semifinal game. Winners on Wednesday in games between South Vermillion and Indian Creek and Brown County and Edgewood will play in the other Friday game.

For most of the way Tuesday night it looked like it would be the Vikings facing the Knights. West Vigo led more often and had matched its biggest lead of the night after Garrett Pugh scored the first three points of the fourth quarter for a 29-23 West Vigo advantage.

But after shooting less than 35% from the field for the first three quarters, Owen Valley found the range in the last six minutes. The Patriots hit 6 of their last 7 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter and were 3 for 3 from long range after going 5 for 17 earlier.

Freshman Donavin Newby hit a 3-pointer to cut that six-point lead in half. Tanoos hit a 2-pointer, matched quickly on a drive by Newby, and then Kaden Hamilton of the Patriots made his only basket of the night, a game-tying 3-pointer with 3:24 remaining.

Tanoos tripled to break the tie, but Owen Valley center Jesse Durnil hit a 3-pointer for another tie with 2:30 left. Tanoos got to the basket 18 seconds later and the Vikings led 36-34.

Owen Valley's Joey Ross tied the score for the final time at 1:53 with a short jumper in the lane, then scored again on a drive with 1:18 to go (which turned out to be about 15 minutes in clock time, after five timeouts).

West Vigo hadn't fouled much and it took until there were 29.2 seconds left to get the Patriots to the foul line. Atkinson obliged by missing both, but Pugh was called for traveling when he stumbled while getting the rebound. Talan Boehler, playing with four fouls, made a gutsy defensive play to deflect an in-bounds pass and give the Vikings a chance for a tying or winning basket.

West Vigo played quite a bit of the game in a 2-3 zone defense, and Owen Valley's response was to pass the ball around the perimeter. It was just 8-5 West Vigo after a quarter — the Vikings had their first six-point lead at 14-8 — and 18-15 at halftime.

"I wasn't too concerned with our defense," coach Joe Boehler of the Vikings said afterward, "except that the game slowed to a snail's pace.

"Our biggest downfall was offensively. We couldn't get enough guys going. And I felt like we had outplayed [the Patriots] in the first half yet we were only up by three."

The Vikings went nearly three minutes without scoring in the third quarter and Owen Valley had leads of 21-18 and 23-22 before Tanoos and Pugh got baskets to end the third quarter.

Tanoos and Pugh, in fact, got all the baskets. Tanoos ended his exceptional career with a game-high 21 points and Pugh added 15 (including the game's only five successful free throws), but that didn't leave any points for the rest of the Vikings.

"In a low-scoring, low-possession game, every possession is huge," coach Boehler pointed out, "and we had a couple of possessions that weren't very good. And in the fourth quarter we couldn't get any breathing room ... we'd be ahead and needed a stop [to maintain momentum] but it seemed like we could never get that stop."

Ross led Owen Valley with 15 points while Newby and Durnil added nine points each. Atkinson had a game-high five assists plus his rebounds.

"This was a fun bunch of kids to coach," coach Boehler concluded, "I just wish we would've been more consistent. And I'm gonna miss my two seniors [Tanoos, the school's all-time leading scorer, and playmaker/defensive specialist Ryan Smith]."

WEST VIGO (36) — Tanoos 10-20 0-0 21, Boehler 0-1 0-0 0, Pugh 5-6 5-6 15, Fields 0-4 0-0 0, Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Chambers 0-1 0-0 0, Deighton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-34 FG, 5-6 FT, 36 TP.

OWEN VALLEY (38) — Atkinson 1-7 0-2 2, Ross 6-7 0-0 15, Durnil 3-6 0-0 9, Hamilton 1-5 0-0 3, Newby 4-9 0-0 9. Totals 15-34 FG, 0-2 FT, 38 TP.

West Vigo 8 10 8 10 — 36

Owen Valley 5 10 8 15 — 38

3-point shooting — WV 1-11 (Tanoos 1-6, Boehler 0-1, Pugh 0-1, Smith 0-1, Fields 0-2), OV8-20 (Ross 3-4, Durnil 3-6, Newby 1-3, Hamilton 1-5). Total fouls — WV 13, OV 8. Fouled out — none. Turnovers — WV 3, OV 8. Rebounds — WV 18 (Fields 4, Smith 4, Tanoos 3, Chambers 3, Pugh 2, Team 2), OV 23 (Atkinson 8, Newby 5, Hamilton 3, Ross, Durnil, Team 5). Assists — WV 10 (Boehler 3, Fields 3, Smith 2, Chambers 2), OV 9 (Atkinson 5, Ross 2, Durnil, Hamilton). Steals — WV 6 (Tanoos 3, Fields 2, Boehler), OV 1 (Atkinson). Blocks — WV 2 (Tanoos, Smith), OV 2 (Durnil, Newby).

Next — Owen Valley (8-15) plays Northview at 6 p.m. Friday. West Vigo finished 11-13.