Vincent boys set to host area tournament

Published 3:36 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

TARRANT – In a game that was moved back due to the potential for winter weather, the Vincent Yellow Jackets traveled to Tarrant for their last area game of the season with big implications on the line.

Going into the matchup at 4-1 in area play, the game was likely set to determine whether the Yellow Jackets would host the upcoming area tournament or not.

Thanks to limiting the Wildcats to eight points or less in three of four quarters defensively, the game was never in question, as Vincent pulled away for a dominant 63-31 road victory to improve to 5-1 in area play and eventually earn the right to host the Class 2A Area 10 tournament.

The Yellow Jackets defensive effort held Tarrant to a 31.4 percent mark from the field, while the Wildcats only went 1-10 from beyond the arc.

Vincent also picked up 20 steals in the game as part of that strong effort, which really became a difference maker leading to 25 points off turnovers and six transition points.

The first quarter of the game started out a bit slow for both teams with Vincent only making six of 18 field goals in the quarter after an 0-5 mark from beyond the arc.

Still though, the Yellow Jackets were able to get six points off turnovers in the quarter thanks to five defensive steals, which sparked half of their 12 points and kept Tarrant from scoring to take a 12-8 advantage at the end of the first period.

That led to a second quarter where Vincent started to find its stroke from the field. For the rest of the game, the Yellow Jackets didn’t shot below 50 percent from the field after a 33-percent first quarter, and it started with an 8-16 mark in the second period, including 40 percent from beyond the arc.

Vincent was able to get six more points off turnovers thanks to a game-high six steals in the quarter and went on a 13-4 run early in the frame. The Jackets eventually scored their most points in a quarter for the game at 22, outscoring the Wildcats by nine points to take a 34-21 lead into the half.

That strong second quarter seemingly gave Vincent a spark coming out of the halftime break, as the Yellow Jackets saw their best effort of the game on both ends of the floor in the third quarter.

They started the quarter on a 13-2 run to extend the lead to 47-23 and went on to outscore Tarrant 18-6 in the period to take a 52-27 lead going into the final frame.

Continuing impressive play offensively, the Yellow Jackets shot 66.7 percent from the field in the fourth quarter and 4-5 from two-point range to improve to 12-21 in the second half.

After forcing nine more combined steals and 13 more points off turnovers in the third and fourth quarters, the Jackets were able to easily pull away for 63-31 victory after holding the Wildcats to just 10 combined points in the second half.

Chris Hardie led the way with a double-double performance thanks to 15 points and 14 rebounds, while also adding three steals. Ryshod Keith also finished in double figures with 13 points, while going 3-3 from the free throw line and adding six assists and three steals.

A total of eight players scored in all for the Jackets, including five with at least seven points.