A runner in the paint by Vinton County’s Eli Radabaugh propelled the Vikings to a buzzer-beating 63-62 non-conference win over the Jackson Ironmen on Hall of Fame night Saturday.

With the win, Vinton County improved to 9-4 while Jackson falls to 4-5.

Before the game, the VCHS Athletic Department and Hall of Fame Committee inducted four individuals along with the 2007-08 basketball team in the HOF during pregame ceremonies.

The end of the game was just as exciting during the final 60 seconds with plenty of action taking place.

Jackson took the lead with 49.7 seconds left on a basket by Evan Jarvis. Then the Vikings knotted the score at 61 when Zayne Karr hit a pair of free throws with 27.3 seconds left.

Jackson’s Jacob Winters split a pair of free throws with 5.3 seconds left to give the Ironmen a 62-61 lead, setting up the Vikings winning goal.

“Five seconds is a lot longer than people think it is,” said Vinton County’s Matt Combs. “Eli has grown so much during the past four years and really came through for us tonight.”

Combs tipped his hat to Jackson for the strong second-half comeback.

“I thought we played one of our best first-halves all year. We had an 11-point lead at the intermission,” said Combs. Jackson hung around and eventually took the lead. Their program is much better. I remember when these games were not that competitive.”

Jackson’s Max Morrow was pleased with the effort of his players playing in a tough environment, and on a special event night.

“All we can do is ask our players to be in a position to win the game,” said Morrow. “They were able to do that as we had the lead with five seconds left. This is a tough environment to come into. Vinton County loves their basketball and has a great coach in Matt Combs.”

The Vikings had three players finish in double figures, led by Karr with 16 points. Braylon Damron added 14 points, and Radabaugh chipped in with 13, which turned out to be his lucky number.

Asa Davidson added eight points, Brayden Cain had seven, and Luke Bledsoe rounded out the scoring for Vinton County with five points.

Winters led the Ironmen, and all scorers, with 18 points, while Jarvis and Tristan Prater added 15 points each. Also, Holden Blankenship finished with eight points, Boston Campbell had four and Nate Woodard had two. 

Vinton County shot 45.8 percent (22 of 48) from the field, including 53.9 percent (7 of 13) from three-point range. The Vikings also made 12 of 20 free throw attempts.

Jackson was 20 of 41 (48.1 percent) from the field including a 8 of 20 (40) from beyond the arc. The Ironmen also made 14 of 18 free throw attempts.

Vinton County had 24 rebounds as Davidson led the way with seven while Jackson pulled down 26 with Winters leading the way with 12.

The action started off quick as Jackson held a narrow 14-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. Blankenship powered the Ironmen with a five-point effort while Damron added five for the Vikings.

In the second quarter, the Vikings exploded for 24 points as Asa Davidson hit three consecutive field goals to give the Vikings a 37-24 lead late, Jackson added a bucket late and Vinton County led 37-26 at halftime.

Jackson got some much-needed offensive production from Prater in the third quarter. He hit a pair of three-pointers and two free throws to account for half of their 16-point tally. But the Vikings held a slim 49-46 lead going into the final stanza.

Jackson rallied late in the fourth quarter as Jarvis finished with eight points and Winters had six to take the lead with five seconds.

However, the Vikings big play pulled out the win and sent the Hall of Fame night crowd home on a happy note.                

Alexander 52, Vinton County 50

Vinton County lost on the road against the Alexander Lady Spartans, 52-50, in a Tri Valley Conference Ohio Division contest on Friday night.

Zayne Karr scored 20 points to lead the Vikings and Brayden Cain added 13 points apiece in the loss.

Alexander's Kyler D'Augustino led all scorers with 29 points.

Vinton County led 11-10 after one quarter but trailed 24-19 at halftime.

The Vikings played well and took a 36-33 after three quarters but couldn’t hold on in the end.