Vina Red Devils make history with area upset
The Vina Red Devils varsity boys team made history this past week, upsetting Phillips – the top seed in the Class 1A Area 14 tournament – to advance to the finals for the first time in 36 years.
The win also meant Vina would advance to subregion play for the first time in school history.
Vina beat Phillips 71-67 in a game in which a combined 54 points were scored by both teams in the fourth quarter alone.
“I could say so much,” said Vina coach Randy Barnes. “The kids, the school and community deserved this win. They’ve trusted me from the get-go, and now they see we can overcome. We are going to enjoy the biggest win in Vina boys basketball history and also get back to work tomorrow.”
Senior Hunter Griffith led the charge for the Red Devils, scoring 28 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking four shots.
Vina jumped out to an early lead, outpacing the Bears 17-9 in the first quarter. Phillips trimmed the lead to 27-22 at halftime, but Vina extended the lead to 47-37 at the end of the third quarter.
Vina held off a fourth–quarter surge by Phillips. The Bears outscored the Red Devils 30-24 in the final period of play. Griffith scored 11 of Vina’s fourth–quarter points and went five for five from the free–throw line.
Conner Davidson and Nate Stidham followed Griffith with big games of their own, scoring 14 points and 12 points respectively. Grayson Ridge added six points, Christian Purser four points, Brody Raper four points and Matthew Patterson one point.
Vina almost made even more history Friday night in the area finals, but Hackleburg scored a late bucket to claim the area title.
The Red Devils trailed the Panthers by six going into the fourth quarter. Vina battled back to tie the game with less than one minute to play at 47-47.
Vina opened up an 11-6 lead in the first quarter, but Hacklburg had a big second quarter to take a 24-21 halftime lead.
Davidson and Griffith led the Red Devils. Davidson made four straight three-pointers, including three straight to open the game. Griffith made a pair of threes in the third quarter and went five for seven from the free–throw line in the second quarter.
Davidson ended the game with 18 points. Griffith added 16 points.
Nate Stidham finished the game with nine points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Christian Purser scored four points, and Brody Raper added two points.
Vina played Covenant Christian in the subregion Tuesday night.