McARTHUR, Ohio — Unfortunately for the Marauders, Vinton County was saving its best for last.
The Vikings poured in 27 points over the final eight minutes of Tuesday’s Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division boys basketball contest in Vinton County, propelling the hosts to a 74-66 victory over Meigs.
A near-even first quarter ended with Vinton County (2-2, 1-2 TVC Ohio) in front by a 16-15 clip. However, the Marauders (3-4, 1-2) took a 39-35 lead into halftime, with half of Meigs’ 24 points in the second quarter coming on Weston Bear three-pointers.
MHS added two points to its lead in the third period, outscoring the Vikings by a 14-to-12 count to make the margin 53-47 with eight minutes to play.
Meigs marked 13 points in the fourth quarter, making 5-of-6 free throws, but Vinton County sealed the 74-66 victory with eight field goals and 10 free throws in the finale.
For the game, Meigs shot 24-of-60 (33.3 percent) from the field, including 7-of-28 (25 percent) from three-point range. The Marauders were 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) from the free throw line, where Vinton County was 15-of-22 (72.7 percent).
Collectively, the Maroon and Gold finished with 11 defensive rebounds, nine offensive boards, 15 steals, nine assists, two rejections and a dozen turnovers.
MHS junior Weston Baer led all-scorers with 29 points, combining five three-pointers, five two-pointers and a 4-of-6 day from the charity stripe. Zach Bartrum posted 18 points and a team-high four assists for the Marauders, while Cooper Darst came up with six points.
Coulter Cleland and Nick Lilly scored five points apiece in the contest, with Lilly grabbing a team-best six rebounds. Ty Bartrum — who rounded out the MHS scoring tally with two points — led the Marauder defense with four steals, followed by Baer with three steals and a block.
Eli Griffith and Ricky Body led the hosts with 20 points apiece, followed by Gavin Arbaugh with 17. Lance Montgomery scored eight points for the victors, Will Arthur added five, while Trafford Dunn came up with four.
These teams are slated to rematch on Jan. 25 in Rocksprings.
Meigs returns to their home court for a non-conference tilt against Jackson on Friday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.