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Vandalia takes down Comets in SCC game

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Vandals now 4-0 in conference play

By Andrew Harner

VANDALIA – Two small runs on both sides of halftime allowed the Vandals to take a lead on Greenville that wouldn’t be relinquished in a 55-45 win last Friday night that keeps Vandalia perfect in South Central Conference play.

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After falling behind 25-21 with 1:48 left in the first half, coach Brian Buscher called a timeout, and his team responded to his message.

Junior Colton Woolsey hit a quick jumper, and Vandalia got steals on the next two Greenville possessions, turning those miscues into an Aaron Harter layup and a Tim Ritchey layup for a 27-25 halftime lead.

The run was extended to 12-0 at the start of the third quarter, with Harter, Leyton Godoyo and Ritchey each scoring, and by the time there was 1:33 left in the period, Vandalia was ahead, 39-27.

“I said at halftime, ‘We can keep chucking shots and we might win, but if we get into our offense, I guarantee we will win,’” Buscher said. “We were more patient in the second half.”

Senior Michael Wells scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, leading the team in scoring for the third straight games. Harter added 11 points, the eighth time he has scored in double figures this season.

The Vandals (11-5, 4-0 SCC) allowed Greenville to slowly close the gap in the fourth quarter, but the lead was never less than seven points, despite seven Vandalia turnovers.

“When you look at a Greenville/Vandalia basketball game, you have to throw out the records,” Buscher said. “It’s a battle, but it was a good, clean game.

“I applaud all the kids, coaches and fans on both sides.”

There was concern coming into the game that the late hit that knocked Ritchey out of the schools’ football game this past fall was going to bring up bad blood between players or fans, but there were no issues before, during or after the game.

Although, there was an officiating miscue that allowed the Comets to score an additional two points.

With 3:18 left in the second quarter, Woolsey committed a foul on the floor, which was Vandalia’s seventh, but the referees allowed play to continue instead of sending Greenville’s Craig Faulkner to the free-throw line for the bonus.

After three offensive rebounds, Greenville’s Ryan Alderman, who led all scorers with 18 points, made a basket.

When Greenville committed a foul with 2:39 left in the game, the referees discovered their mistake, but allowed Faulkner to shoot the bonus free throws.

Those shots should not have been taken, since Greenville scored, but it is believed a miscommunication between the refs and the scorer’s table occurred.

Those free throws tied the game at 21, and were part of an 8-0 Greenville run.

Friday, Jan. 11
Vandalia 55
Greenville 45
G: 14-11-7-13—45
V: 15-12-14-14—55
Points: Wells, 17; Harter, 11; Ritchey, 9; Co. Woolsey, 8; Godoyo, 5; Chase Woolsey, 3; Wade Cowger, 2.
Rebounds: Godoyo, 7; Harter, 5; Ritchey, 5; Wells, 3; Co. Woolsey, 3; Cowger, 2; Ch. Woolsey, 2; Team, 2.
Assists: Ritchey, 3; Co. Woolsey, 3; Cowger, 2; Godoyo, 2; Wells, 1.
Steals: Ritchey, 3; Wells, 2; Godoyo, 1; Ch. Woolsey, 1.
Blocks: Godoyo, 2; Co. Woolsey, 1.
Record: 11-5 (4-0 SCC)