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Vandalia eighth-grade boys win opener

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By Seth Whitehead

Turnovers nearly did in Vandalia's eighth-grade boys basketball team Monday night in its season opener against Effingham Sacred Heart. But fortunately, teamwork helped the Vandals hang on in the final minute for a 33-28 win at the Brownstown Tournament. After watching Sacred Heart put together a 13-4 run that cut a 13-point third-quarter lead to just four heading into the final minute, Trevor Montgomery scored a huge layup off a give-and-go feed from Nathan Henna. The clutch basket made it a three-possession game, proving to be the dagger that brought a stubborn Sacred Heart team down. Such heroics seemed unnecessary after a steal and fast-break layup by Montgomery gave Vandalia a 27-14 lead with 2:26 to go in the third quarter. But a slew of Vandals turnovers helped Sacred Heart get back in the game. Vandalia had six turnovers in the fourth quarter alone, but Sacred Heart struggled handling the ball as well, as it never quite got over the hump. With the win, the Junior Vandals advanced to Tuesday night's championship game against Altamont Lutheran. Results were not available as of press time Tuesday afternoon. Henna and Montgomery led Vandalia with 10 points apiece. Dalton Woolsey added eight points, including six in a row to start the second half. Quenton Austin chipped in three points, while Dathan Berning had two points off an offensive rebound and putback that gave Vandalia a 19-9 halftime lead.