Maybe the Junior Vandals were enjoying the carryover affect from their thrilling double-overtime victory at Hillsboro two nights before.
Maybe the VJHS eighth-grade boys basketball team was just stoked to be playing its first home game of the year.
Whatever the source of inspiration was, the Junior Vandals came to play Thursday night. And Ramsey had the misfortune of running into a team firing on all cylinders, as Vandalia rolled to a 49-11 win.
The Junior Vandals (3-1) put on a defensive clinic in the first quarter, as their full-court press helped create 12 Ramsey turnovers. Many of those turnovers were the result of seven Vandalia first-quarter steals, which led to three easy transition buckets.
By the time the buzzer sounded, Vandalia had a daunting 17-4 advantage, with nine of those points being scored off turnovers.
Despite building a big early lead, the Junior Vandals’ maintained the same high energy level throughout, resulting in a 29-6 halftime lead and a 49-8 lead after a 20-point explosion in the third quarter.
Dathan Berning set the tone in the energy department, as he hustled his way to a game-high 15 points and five rebounds. Berning had three of his four steals in the third quarter, two of which ended in fast-break layups.
Trevor Montgomery was the Vandals’ chief thief in the first half, coming away with three of his game-high five steals. Montgomery followed up his clutch performance against Hillsboro – in which he sent the game into overtime with a game-tying 3-pointer – with 10 points and three assists.
Bryan Hosick also helped set the tone in the first half with his passing, as he finished with five assists, six points and four steals. Dalton Woolsey was the benefactor of a pair of Hosick feeds, as he finished with eight points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Quenton Austin chipped in six points and three rebounds, while Joey Dunn had four points and two boards.
The Junior Vandals finished with 18 steals for the game.
Last Tuesday’s Game
Vandalia 36, Hillsboro 34, Double Overtime
Montgomery nailed a game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, completing the Junior Vandals’ comeback from a deficit that stood at 28-18 entering the fourth quarter.
Nathan Henna and Woolsey then scored all eight Vandalia points in the extra periods, helping Vandalia stun Hillsboro on its home court.
Woolsey finished with a team-high 11 points, including four in the overtimes, while Henna had 10 points overall, including four after regulation.
Montgomery added eight points, as Vandalia improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play with the thrilling victory.
Hillsboro used a 12-6 advantage in the third quarter to increase a four-point halftime lead to 10 points entering the final frame. But Vandalia wound up outscoring the host team 10-0 in the final six minutes.
Hosick added four points for Vandalia, while Austin had three.