Unfortunately for the Vikings, the Devon was in the details.
Devon Matthews scored 16 points and came up with the decisive plays down the stretch as the Titans took a 43-39 non-district win.
In the girls’ game, the Lady Vikings’ domination of the boards helped offset a 24-point performance by Twin Springs’ Tamara Campbell. Powell Valley prevailed 53-36.
Twin Springs boys coach John McCrary went moderately bananas after his team botched an isolation drawn up for Kris Jordan with the game tied 33-33 with around three minutes left to play.
But aggravation gave way to admiration after Matthews stepped up in the clutch.
“That’s the smartest he’s played and the best he’s played so far,” McCrary said. “The deal is, you’ve got to bring it every day.”
After the timeout McCrary called to focus the Titans’ attention, Matthews created a Powell Valley turnover and whipped the ball down the floor to Trevor Criswell. The layup put the Titans ahead 35-33 with 2:19 remaining.
Matthews proved the tipping point with 18.4 seconds left, stripping the ball from Sam Vaughn on an inbounds pass attempt under the Vikings’ bucket. Fouled immediately, Matthews sank both his bonus free throws to make it 40-36.
“Defense mainly won this game,” said Matthews who had five rebounds. “It’s all starting to come together.”
Powell Valley got a 3-pointer from Tyler Garrison to cut it to 42-39 with 3.1 seconds showing, but another free throw from Matthews with 2.4 seconds left neutralized the trifecta threat.
David Campbell had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Titans (6-7) while Jordan had nine points and five rebounds.
Garrison had 16 points for Powell Valley (7-5) while Jordan Martin finished with 10.
“Good teams find ways to come back after an emotional win or emotional loss the night before,” said Vikings coach Zack Moore. “You’ve got to find ways to win, and we didn’t. They made more plays down the stretch than we did.”
Embarrassed on the boards in Friday’s loss to Appalachia, the Powell Valley girls turned emotion to their advantage. The Lady Vikings outrebounded Twin Springs 42-21.
“I’m pretty tickled with them right now,” said Powell Valley coach Mike Day. “Sometimes a loss can be a positive thing, whether you want to believe that or not.”
Tasha Trent had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Vikings (5-8) while Chabrae Roark had 13 points. Lauren Schoolcraft had eight rebounds and Kaylla Holdway hauled down seven.
Aside from Campbell, the Lady Titans (4-9) had trouble shooting over Powell Valley’s zone.
“We couldn’t dictate anything simply because we couldn’t hit any shots,” Twin Springs coach Jordan Mullins said. “Basically, they were able to do what they wanted to do.”