News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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December 8, 2013

West Vigo shows its youth in loss to Owen Valley

WEST TERRE HAUTE — It was a game that confirmed his fears, coach Joe Boehler said Saturday night after his West Vigo team lost 67-51 in its Western Indiana Conference boys basketball opener to visiting Owen Valley.

“I think our young team showed up tonight,” Boehler said. “We did not handle success very well.”

The Vikings had opened their season with a dramatic come-from-behind win over North Vermillion, but may have learned more from Saturday’s setback. That’s what their coach hopes, anyway.

“We felt pretty good about ourselves, and we were riding that [North Vermillion] game through the whole last week of practice,” Boehler said.

Owen Valley, which entered the game with a deceiving 1-2 record, was more than ready to pounce.

West Vigo got the game’s first basket, but the Patriots immediately scored eight in a row — including 3-pointers by Cameron King and Evan Wood — to go ahead to stay.

The Vikings were back within 8-7 on a steal and layup by Alec Blair, but Owen Valley closed out the first quarter on an 8-1 run, then scored seven straight early in the second quarter to go up 23-10. It was 26-16 at halftime, and West Vigo looked lucky to be that close.

“Owen Valley played really well, and they shot the ball exceptionally well,” Boehler noted. The visitors shot 59 percent for the game, but they should have. A lot of their shots were easy ones — layups set up by crisp offensive execution or wide-open 3-pointers — and they flew to the offensive boards to control the few shots they missed.

“Once you get a lead, you can spread things out and make sure you’re going for layups or getting good shots,” coach Chad Smith of Owen Valley said afterward, “and we’ve really been stressing hitting the offensive boards. We’re not big, but we’re pretty athletic.”

West Vigo still had some hopes early in the third quarter, trailing 35-23, but a nice pass from Cameron King to Ethan Daffron went for a layup and a foul. Daffron missed, but the Patriots came up with the loose-ball rebound and Ethan Sparks hit a 3-pointer.

Wood then corraled a defensive rebound at the other end and went coast to coast, soaring to the rim with a finger-roll layup that made it 42-23. The margin was around 20 points the rest of the way, although a late Viking flurry cut the lead to 14 points on two occasions.

Cameron King led all scorers with 21 points while Wood added 19 and point guard Nolan King added nine points and eight assists for Owen Valley.

“We’ve gotten a little better each game,” said Smith, whose team had lost to Eastern Greene and Paoli and was also making its WIC debut.

Braiden Cardinal led West Vigo with 19 points, and his six rebounds were also a team high.

“So unfocused,” Boehler said of his team Saturday night. “I hope we can grow a little bit from this, and realize you take Monday through Thursday to try to be a better basketball team.”

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