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VINTON -- Minus their head coach, the Vinton-Shellsburg Vikettes moved to 9-1 and took over sole possession of the WaMaC West lead with a hard-fought 66-53 win over Williamsburg Tuesday at the Garrison Fieldhouse. With head coach Rich Haisman out on the sick list, assistant coach Andy Smith took the controls for the Vikettes, and he got to direct "The Lucy Show."

Senior Lucy Howes-Vonstein had a night to remember as the Vikette point guard matched her jersey number with 23 points. She knocked down three three-pointers, hit five of six fourth quarter free throws and fueled an overall solid offense over a strong Raider team.

The first half of the game was a back-and-forth battle; the score was deadlocked at 17 after one period, but the Raiders pulled out to a 25-20 lead midway throught the second quarter. But a 10-2 run down the stretch gave the Vikettes a 30-27 lead at intermission.

Williamsburg guard Charlotte Wetjen hit a trey to start the second half to tie the game at 30-30, but that would be it for the visitors for a bit. The Vikettes went on a 17-1 run to jump out to a 46-31 lead with two minutes to go in the third and the game went into the final eight with V-S up 47-36. Williamsburg cut it to six with four minutes left, but that was as close as they could get.

The Vikettes shot an amazing 11 of 14 from the free throw line in the final eight minutes while putting up a typically solid defensive performance down the stretch to pull away to a huge win.

"We had great senior leadership tonight," Smith said. "We hit 16 of 21 free throws and made the plays when we had to. This a great win, especially going into next week playing Clear Creek-Amana and CPU (Center Point-Urbana)."

Along with Lucy's 23, the Griffth Girls -- senior Kayla and sophomore Alyssa -- hit for 10 points each. Senior post Aza Swayzer and sophomore guard Abby Davis had seven apiece. Kalie Burke added six and Ashlie Meyer and Brylee Bruce each had a pair.

With Clear Creek-Amana's 53-39 loss at Benton Community tonight, the Vikettes are now in sole possession of the WaMaC West lead. They hit the road Thursday night for a non-conference tilt at Dunkerton (4-5), then head over Independence on Friday night to take on the Mustangs (1-6), prior to next week's big homestand.

The Vikettes will host Clear Creek-Amana next Tuesday and turnaround Friday to host the Stormin' Pointers.



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