Teays Valley scored the first eight points Friday night and never relinquished the lead on the way to a 54-35 win at Circleville.
“It was really physical. Probably one of the most physical ones we’ve had outside of Bradley and Lancaster,” TV senior Ryan Wolfe said. “I’m proud of our guys. We hit open shots — that’s something we’ve struggled with early.
“We haven’t hit shots from the three. (Tonight) we got guys in rhythm. We got Tanner Kendig going from three and all those shots were in rhythm. I was proud of our guys.”
The Vikings (3-2, 2-0) led 10-3 after the first quarter.
DJ Pickett had a three-pointer and Riley Gibson scored for Circleville (2-4, 0-2) in the first two minutes of the second quarter to close the gap to 10-8, but Wolfe answered with a three and the Vikings pushed the lead out to 10 points before closing the half up 24-16.
“We came out with good energy to start,” TV coach Doug Etzler said. “We made some mistakes defensively but we played really hard. I’m OK with making some mistakes when we play hard.
“It was going to be a game where they’re trying to slow it down and we’re trying to get the pace going a little a bit and sometimes it doesn’t get to your pace until later in the game.”
TV found the pace it preferred in the third quarter, outscoring the Tigers 16-7 to take a 40-23 lead.
“When we turn up our elite defense, we’re really hard to score on. It’s just maintaining that elite defense for 32 minutes,” Wolfe said. “It’s really hard to do and the really good teams do it. We’ve got to get to that level where it’s 32 minutes of elite defense and that’s what we brought in the second half.”
“With them getting out in transition in the third quarter, it really broke open the game from eight to it got to 18 pretty quickly,” Circleville coach Tyler Cassidy said. “We had a lot of issues tonight running our sets. Teays Valley switches a ton of screens and I think that threw our guys off, even though we knew they were going to switch.
“In the second half, it seemed when we wanted to get into something the ball pressure really bothered us to where we couldn’t even get into running our sets. We’ve got to be tougher with the ball.”
Wolfe’s final basket of the night gave the Vikings their largest lead at 50-25 with 3:24 left in the game.
He ended the night with a team-high 14 points and nine rebounds while Kendig had 11 points. Max Young grabbed eight rebounds for TV.
DJ Pickett was the game’s top scorer as he put in 19 points for the Tigers.
Circleville ended the night with a 35-34 rebounding edge.
Garrett Gray led the Tigers with eight rebounds while Pickett and Nate Evans each had five.
“Early on I felt like we did some things offensively where we got some pretty good looks but it just wasn’t falling for us early,” Cassidy said. “Defensively, I thought we did a great job all night long of competing and playing hard, keeping them off the boards. Going back to last year, the last several times we’ve played Teays Valley they just really drilled us on the boards. We had nine offensive rebounds in the first half. That shows me the energy and the toughness that was there tonight.
“Unfortunately we just couldn’t finish inside and we couldn’t get too many outside shots to fall.”
The Tigers are back in action Tuesday night at Bloom-Carroll while the Vikings host Liberty Union Tuesday.
- Teays Valley was a 53-28 winner in the reserve game.
Cole Sauerbrun led TV with 11 points, Peyton Weiler had nine, Bret Wilson had eight, Adam Benschoter and Clayton Knox each had six, Trey Purdon and Garrett Meddock each had four, Jack Kennedy had three and Cody Kennedy had two.
Jake Bell led the Tigers with eight points, Logan Crabtree had seven, Craig Fleck had six, Ethan Moore had five and Kaleb Nungester had two points.
Teays Valley 54, Circleville 35
Teays Valley — Benschoter 1-0-2, Blackburn 3-0-6, Young 0-3-3, Kendig 3-2-11, Booth 2-0-5, Gothard 2-0-6, Weiss 2-0-3, Burgett 1-0-2, Wolfe 4-4-14. Three-point goals — Kendig (3), Booth, Gothard (2), Weiss, Wolfe (2). Totals — 18-47 9-15 54.
Circleville — Jones 0-1-1, Gibson 3-3-9, Justice 0-1-1, Gray 1-0-2, Parr 0-1-1, Pickett 5-6-19, Evans 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Pickett (3). Totals — 10-44 12-20 35.
Teays Valley 10 14 16 14 54
Circleville 3 13 7 12 35