Vandals top Piasa Birds

The Vandalia High School boys basketball team started Friday’s game at Southwestern on a 13-0 run and never trailed in defeating the Piasa Birds, 74-52. Four different Vandals scored in that opening run, with senior Marty Johnson scoring five, junior Dathan Berning scoring four, and senior Daniel Bell and junior Quenten Austin each scoring two. Southwestern did rally back, however, answering Vandalia’s run with a 14-5 run that cut the Vandals’ lead to five with about seven minutes left in the second period. The Vandals then used a 10-2 run to move ahead, 29-16. They led, 33-22, at halftime. A 10-3 Vandalia run put the Piasa Birds down by 18 midway through the third period, and the Vandals would lead by as many as 23 before the quarter was finished. Berning had nine of his game-high 20 points in the third period, and he scored at least three points in each quarter. He has scored 37 points in the past two games. Austin posted eight of his season-high 14 points in the third period. Johnson and fellow senior Daniel Bell combined to score 11 points in the final frame to help the Vandals secure their best offensive output of the season. Coach Kevin Jackson emptied his bench late in the game, and sophomore Aaron Harter scored his first points of the season by converting on two free throws. Fellow sophomore Michael Wells snared a couple of late rebounds as well. Friday, Feb. 11 at Southwestern Vandalia 74 Southwestern 52 Points – Berning, 20; Johnson, 17; Austin, 14; Bell, 12; Leyton Godoyo, 4; Nate Henna, 3; Harter, 2; Bryan Hosick, 2. Vandals 17–16–23–18—74 Birds 7–15–16–14—52 Record – 14-10 (8-3 South Central Conference) Up Next – vs. Altamont on Thursday and vs. Pana on Saturday. Both games start at 6 p.m. The Vandals are the No. 2 seed in the Greenville Regional, and face the Comets next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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