The Tarboro Viking boys bounced back and got revenge Wednesday night at home against the Riverside Knights. Tarboro jumped out to an early lead and never trailed going on to defeat the Knights 55-51.
"It was a tough game all the way through and my guys came through at the end," Tarboro head coach Craig Savage said. "We could have easily dropped our heads late in the fourth quarter but we didn't and we continued to battle and pulled out the win."
Kelvin Jones and Markese Clapp led the Vikings offensively scoring a combined 27 points. Jones had 16 and Clapp had 11 while Kenbronis Bailey chipped in 8.
Tarboro jumped out to an early 17-8 lead after one quarter behind the stellar performances from Clapp and Jones. They scored four apiece in the quarter.
Riverside battled back in the second quarter and cut the lead to four at 22-17 with 2:04 left before halftime, but Bailey added two free throws and then hit the front end of a one and one after two Riverside baskets and Tarboro led 25-21 with 48 seconds left. Clapp added another basket and Toney Gregory added two free throws and Tarboro led 29-21 at the half.
"I told the guys at halftime to keep battling," Savage said. "We needed to come out and stay focused on what we were doing early."
The Vikings continued to be troubled by turnovers and giving their opponents second and third chance shots. The Vikings had 15 turnovers in the first half alone and the Knights scored nine points on second chance shots.
In the third quarter Tarboro kept fighting but continued to give the Knights extra chances under the basket. Riverside scored six straight points to open the quarter before Jones connected on a three point shot and drew the foul. He hit the free throw and Tarboro led 33-27. Riverside fought back, but the Vikings continued to answer right back. Clapp hit two free throws with 41 seconds left and then Riverside added a basket to make it 37-34 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter was back and forth, with both teams shooting a massive amount of free throws. Tarboro scored 18 points in the quarter, but eight of those points came from the charity stripe. Clapp and Jones sealed the win for the Vikings in the fourth after the Knights battled back and tied the game up at 49-49 with 1:52 left to play. Tarboro controlled the momentum from there and pulled off the win.
"We fought hard in the fourth quarter and were able to hang in there," Savage said. "I will take getting beat on the boards as long as we get that win."
Savage and his coaching staff have debated on sending Clapp back down to JV after the football players returned but with his first two stellar performances they have had a change of heart.
"I think we are going to keep Markese up here with us," Savage said. "That kid has a lot of heart and fight in him. He wants to win and is a tough player. He can help us on the varsity team."
Tarboro finished the game shooting 17-30 from the free throw line, while Riverside was 9-19.
Tarboro turned the ball over 29 times compared to the Knights 22.
Lady Knights 59
Lady Vikings 35
Turnovers and missed opportunities have been the downfall for the Lady Vikings. They struggled the entire game Wednesday and couldn't break the pressure of the Knights. Tarboro fell to the Knights 59-35.
"We are still missing a lot of shots and we are making to many careless mistakes," Vikings head coach Jamie Willoughby said. "We have had to many missed opportunities. We didn't relax and let things come to us."
Tarboro struggled from the outset scoring only five points in the first quarter and trailed 15-5 after one.
The Vikings picked the pace up a little in the second and made a mini run to get back in the game behind some tough nose play from Lisa Jones. She finished the game with 15 points and scored four the Vikings seven second quarter points. They trailed 21-12 at halftime.
Tarboro turned the ball over 14 times in the first half and Riverside took advantage and scored 10 points off of the turnovers.
In the third quarter, Jones continued to battle down in the low post taking the ball to the basket. She scored six points in the quarter but she missed four free throws and Riverside expanded their lead to 39-22 after three quarters.
The Knights turned up the heat in the fourth quarter and forced the Vikings to make mistake after mistake. Nyasha Savage answered for the Vikings in the fourth and came alive adding six of her 12 points in the quarter alone.
Tarboro finished the game with 30 turnovers and the Knights capitalized the miscues into 26 points in the game.
"We worked on it and knew what they were going to do and were going to trap us," Willoughby said. "We just didn't execute at all. We are going to get back in the gym and get to work and get ready for Nash Central on Friday."
Willoughby said they are going to work on free throws and taking care of the ball, especially the careless passes that they are making which are leading into turnovers.
Tarboro will be back in action Friday when they travel to play at Nash Central.