By Matt Nestor
The game plan for the Guilford Vikings was clear as they prepared to face Auburn. Slow down point guard Fred Van Vleet and give yourself a chance to win.
The mission was just as clear for the Knights. Have the players around the junior guard step up to prove how good the team is.
Auburn (7-1, 4-0) won out in their strategy, getting 30 points from fellow junior Lamark Foote as the Knights pulled away late to defeat Guilford (6-5, 3-1) by a final of 80-61.
The Vikings were one of the teams in the conference Auburn Head Coach Bryan Ott pointed to as a deep team before the season, and it showed early with the Vikings taking an early lead.
“Guilford brings back some really athletic guys who have a boatload of varsity experience,” Ott said.
But Auburn recovered and led by 15 at the half.
Guilford got the game close in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to 7 points, before Auburn closed the game on a 17-5 run to end the threat.
Senior forward Quavion Kimble paced the Vikings with 16 points.
In other NIC 10 action:
→ East (7-2, 4-1) kept up the pace for second place, pulling out two close wins. The E-Rabs got 33 points from Steve McNease in an overtime win against Freeport (3-4, 1-3). They overcame a hard-charging Belvidere squad, led by Cody Colquette’s 21 points, to top the Bucs (4-5, 0-5) by a final of 56-54.
→ Chris Miller and the Boylan Titans are starting to find their legs after the football team’s run to the state championship. Teammate Armani Flannigan led Boylan (8-2, 3-1) with 19 points in a 76-45 win over Harlem (5-4, 1-3) in conference play. The following night, Miller picked up 19 in a 71-45 non-conference win over Lincoln Park.
→ Belvidere North (3-5, 2-2) picked up their second conference win of the season in a 77-70 win over Jefferson.
→ The Jefferson J-Hawks (3-5, 1-3) picked up their first win of the season with a 61-60 win over Belvidere on a Marcus Perkins put-back at the end of the game.
→ Hononegah (7-2, 2-2) recovered from their early-season struggles with 15 points each from Chase Robinson and Carlos Hendrix in a 56-43 win over Belvidere North.
From the Dec. 22-28, 2010 issue