ASHVILLE — Turnovers plagued the Teays Valley Vikings through the first three quarters — to the tune of 20 lost possessions.
But once the Vikings slowed down and ran its offense effectively in the fourth quarter, they ultimately posted a 67-52 win over the visiting Westfall Mustangs.
“We just clicked in the fourth quarter,” Teays Valley’s Zach Race said. “We came together as a team and that’s what happens when we do that.
“Coach (Doug) Etzler stressed to us at halftime about cutting down on turnovers and using our ball fakes more.”
The Vikings outscored Westfall 20-5 in the final stanza, led by Race contributing seven points and five rebounds.
“I felt better shooting the ball in the second half,” Race said. “I got the ball in good positions to score.”
Alex Ell led Teays Valley in the Saturday matinee, posting a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Race followed with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Nathan Dresbach collected 11 points.
Westfall (3-4) used its full-court press and some sloppy ballhandling by Teays Valley (4-5) to stay with the Vikings through the first three quarters. Bryant Gibson, who led the Mustangs with 15 points and four assists, had five steals. Travis Burleson added four more swipes.
“In the first three quarters we just threw the ball around too much and tried to play too quick,” Etzler said. “Westfall deserves credit for that.
“During the fourth quarter we spread the floor better and found the open guy for good shots when they doubled down on the ball.”
Teays Valley took the lead for good when Pete Freeman scored on a layup with 6:30 remaining in the game. The Vikings then built upon its 49-47 lead with an 11-2 run to take control of the contest.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs went cold from the field, hitting only two of 14 shots (14 percent) during the final quarter. Westfall went nearly the first 4:30 of the fourth quarter before registering a bucket by Gibson.
“We were too inconsistent,” Westfall coach Kent Wolfe said. “We did a few things right in the first three quarters and stayed with them.
“In the fourth quarter we just kind of fell apart. We only scored three points in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter and we can’t do that.”
Teays Valley committed 23 turnovers against 12 for Westfall.
The Vikings compensated giving away possessions in a couple of areas. They connected on 26 of 44 (59 percent) shots, while Westfall hit 21 of 56 (38 percent) opportunities. On the charity line, the Vikings hit 12 of 16 (75 percent) free throws. Westfall made just seven of 15 (47 percent) from the line.
Teays Valley also won the rebounding battle 30-18.
Bryan Boring added 11 points for Westfall.
Both teams are slated to play Circleville the next time they hit the floor. Westfall travels to Circleville Wednesday, while Teays Valley returns to Mid-State League action Saturday at home against the Tigers.