CLAY CENTER – It was game of opposites for the Smoky Valley boys and girls basketball teams on the road Friday in Clay Center as the Viking boys rolled over Clay Center 51-29 while the Lady Vikings struggles on offense and were buried 64-18 by the Lady Tigers.
In the boys game, Smoky Valley held Clay Center’s offense in check and to less than 10 points in three of the four quarters, including just 10 points in the first half as the Vikings went into the halftime break with an 18-10 advantage. The lead was pushed out to 14 points by the end of the third at 31-17 before the Vikings kept the foot on the pedal and cruised on in for the 22-point victory.
With the victory the Viking boys evened their season mark at 6-6 as they get a few days to prep for a road trip on Tuesday, January 29 to Hillsboro.
Nine Smoky Valley players put at least two points in the scorebook on the night with Cole Brumbaugh leading the way with 16 and Cade Schneider just missing double digits with nine. Matt Lucas led the Vikings in the paint with five rebounds while Johann Rauchholz and Brumbaugh each were credited with four each.
The defense played a key part in the victory as the Vikings held the Clay Center offense to just 25-percent shooting on the night from the field while making 12 steals and out rebounding the Tigers 25-15.
“The boys played very well tonight,” noted Viking Head Coach Doug Schneider in his post-game reflections. “I was very pleased with our defensive effort and the way we got after them. We struggled a bit in the first half to score, but I thought we did a great job of finding the open man and hitting shots in the second half.”
As for the Smoky Valley girls, they ran into a defensive brick wall against the Lady Tigers as the Lady Vikings failed to score even 10 points in any of the four quarters. Clay Center jumped out to a commanding 28-7 halftime advantage before really hammering it on the offense and scoring 22 points in the third quarter to jump ahead of the Lady Vikings 50-14 heading into the final stanza where they cruised to the 46-point win.
“We ran into a buzz saw tonight in Clay Center,” explained Lady Viking Head Coach Larry Van Der Wege. “We struggled to score against their tight man to man defense and weren’t able to match up with their size on the inside or speed on the perimeter.”
Only five Smoky Valley girls were able to get points on the scoreboard, with Ellie Brumbaugh and Kira Haxton leading the offense with five and four points respectively.
The loss drops the Lady Vikings season record to 3-10 as they prep for a busy week ahead with a trip to Hutchinson Trinity on Monday for a make-up game and then turn around and travel to Hillsboro on Tuesday.
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