Vandalia downs Greenville but defeated by Hillsboro

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By Andrew Harner

Vandalia held Greenville scoreless in the third quarter last Friday night to switch the game’s momentum into its favor during a 48-38 win.


The Vandals had struggled in nearly every facet of the game during the first half, which allowed the Comets to lead by as many as nine points in the second quarter and by six, 23-17, at halftime.

But after Vandalia got a 3-point play from junior Leyton Godoyo, and a steal and layup from senior Quenten Austin in a span of nine seconds at the beginning of the third period, the Vandals suddenly looked like a different team.

“Things turned in our favor, and the momentum changed quickly,” said coach Kevin Jackson. “You could see our kids lift up, and that’s what we have to do.”

Vandalia (6-1, 1-1 South Central Conference) continued its momentum into the fourth quarter, making 15-of-18 free throws to close out the game, but then on Tuesday lost to Hillsboro on the road, 71-65.

The Vandals tied Greenville at 23 when senior Dathan Berning scored his first point of the game on a free throw with 4:14 left in the third quarter.

He would continue on to score four more points over the next 1:07 to give Vandalia a lead, and the team was ahead by eight by the end of the quarter.

“I don’t think our defense changed a bit,” Jackson said. “They were tired, but they are going to get better and better once they get their basketball legs under them.”

Greenville’s football team had an extended season, as it made the Elite Eight in the playoffs, and four Comet basketball starters were major contributors on the football team.

The Comets did score 15 points in the fourth quarter, but 10 of those came on free throws. Vandalia’s lead forced Greenville into taking a lot of shots, but it only made 2-of-15 attempts from the field in the fourth quarter,

“We were the aggressors more in the second half, and got them on their heals,” Jackson said.

Senior Quenten Austin led the Vandals with his first career double-double on 11 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Bryan Hosick led the Vandals in scoring, with 13 points.

Those two were a combined 13-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Greenville opened the game on an 11-4 run, which included a second-chance 3-pointer and four points off turnovers, but the Vandals outscored the Comets 8-5 over the final four minutes of the second period.

With a perfect record through the first six games, Jackson said that every upcoming team would be giving the Vandals their best effort, and he makes sure to remember that before every game and practice.

“We feel good about it, but I guard against that feeling every day,” Jackson said. “I don’t know if (the players) think about it, but we have to be smart between the ears and about how we handle our business.”

The Hilltoppers didn't give in despite a six-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, using a flurry of late points to secure the win.

Vandalia missed 17 shots from the field in the second half, while allowing Hillsboro to score 29 fourth-quarter points in a comeback win.

Berning led Vandalia, with 17 points, and Austin was right behind, with 16. Senior post player Matt DeLuka had 28 points for Hillsboro.

Tuesday, Dec. 13
at Hillsboro
Hillsboro 71
Vandalia 65
VHS: 14-15-19-17—65
HHS: 19-8-15-29—71
Points: Berning, 17; Austin, 16; Hosick, 12; Godoyo, 7; Chase Woolsey, 7; Tim Ritchey, 6.
Rebounds: Hosick, 7; Austin, 3; Berning, 3; Godoyo, 2; Woolsey, 1.
Steals: Austin, 4; Berning, 4; Ritchey, 3; Godoyo, 2; Hosick, 2; Woolsey, 1.
Record: 6-1 (1-1 SCC)

Friday, Dec. 9
vs. Greenville
Vandalia 48
Greenville 36
GHS: 14-9-0-15—38
VHS: 9-8-14-17—48
Points: Hosick, 13; Austin, 11; Berning, 9; Ritchey, 8; Godoyo, 5; Woolsey, 2.
Rebounds: Austin, 10; Berning, 8; Godoyo, 5; Hosick, 5; Ritchey, 3; Team, 3; Woolsey, 2.
Steals: Austin, 2; Hosick, 1.
Blocks: Berning, 1.
Record: 6-0 (1-0 SCC)