South Webster junior Tyler Sommer (14) scored a game-high 28 points during the Jeeps’ trip to Lucasville to face Valley in SOC II play. Sommer made a season-high eight three-pointers for South Webster.

Ed Litteral | Daily Times

Valley senior Colt Buckle (4) scored a career-high 22 points for the Indians in Tuesday’s 74-66 win over South Webster in a Southern Ohio Conference Division II contest.

Ed Litteral | Daily Times

LUCASVILLE — It may be early in the season, but the Valley Indians played their best late in Tuesday’s 72-64 home win over South Webster.

With the Jeeps leading by a point heading into the fourth — after a 18-17 win in the first quarter and 17-17 and 19-19 ties in the second and third, respectively — the Indians won the final eight minutes 21-12 to remain a one-loss team in Southern Ohio Conference Division II play.

Tuesday’s contest was the fourth time since the start of last season that Valley and South Webster have faced off.

The pair split their regular season meetings in 2021-22 — before the Indians came away with a 68-56 win in the Division IV district semifinals in February.

When discussing his team’s ultimately deciding fourth quarter, Valley coach Craig Tackett credited his players resiliency in the late stages of their eight-point win.

The Indians trailed by as many as 10 points in the first quarter (16-6, 3:15 1Q) and eight points on two occasions in the third.

“It just shows the resiliency and heart our guys have. We’ve been joking with them, saying to be dogs and get after it,” Tackett said. “Shows the character and work ethic they have they’re not going to give in for anything. Jace and George hit some big shots, Colt had a big game, Levi was great underneath. Carter and some of the passes he made, Hunter and Parker giving us some energy off the bench — it was a collective effort as a group. Got to give our coaching staff credit, they have these guys prepared and are great to have on the sideline.”

Valley put four scorers in double-figures led by senior Colt Buckle’s career-high 22 points. He led all scorers with a game-high 14 points at halftime before adding eight more in the third quarter.

“We just work well as a team. We know each other really well because we’ve played together for so long,” Buckle said. “We know what we want to do on offense and went out and got it done.”

Senior George Arnett scored 18 points (12 in the second half) on seven field goals and a free throw, junior Jace Copley scored 15 points and hit 4-of-4 crucial free throws in the fourth quarter, and senior Levi Stewart scored 13 points with six coming in the final eight minutes.

“Patience and unselfishness. When we call a set, if the first look’s not there, they’re patient. When they make a play, they’re unselfish about it to get it to the right guy,” Tackett said. “Along with that, they have a really high basketball IQ. Super smart kids that you can run set after set for, or sometimes a set breaks down and they make a play.”

South Webster coach Brenton Cole discussed some of the discrepancies from his perspective that allowed Valley back into the game.

“We gave up too many easy points at the rim and too many offensive rebounds to come home with the win. We look forward to battling every game moving ahead. We’re gaining some valuable experience in these early season games and it should pay off for us.”

A close game throughout, Cole also praised his players for their effort in a tough road environment.

Jeeps junior Tyler Sommer led all scorers with 28 points as he sank a season-high eight three pointers — including five in the second half.

Sophomore Eli Roberts scored 19 points for South Webster, and senior Will Collins had 12 of his 14 points in the first half.

“I liked the effort my guys gave tonight — they played hard the whole game,” Cole said. “Tyler Sommer had a monster game for us guarding (Jace) Copley and scoring 28 points. Will Collins played a great game on both ends of the floor too.”

With the win, the Indians improve to 2-1 (2-1 SOC II) following last week’s win over Northwest and road loss at Minford.

They’ll host SPIRE Academy on Friday in their first of six non-league contests.

South Webster (3-2, 1-2 SOC II) will host Waverly on Friday in SOC II play and Chesapeake on Saturday in the non-league.

“All 22 games on your schedule feel like they’re must win. This one even more so coming off a loss on Friday, had to get this one to get back on the winning side of things and especially in the league,” Tackett said. “South Webster’s an excellent team who is going to win a lot of games. Brenton’s done a great job with them — they’ve got a lot of guys who can score the basketball. I don’t know if Tyler Sommer missed the entire game.”



South Webster 18 17 19 12 — 66

Valley 17 17 19 21 — 74

South Webster (3-2, 1-2 SOC II): Connor Bender 0 0-0 0, Christian White 0 0-0 0, Dylan Shupert 1 3-4 5, Owen Mault 0 0-0 0, Jaren Lower 0 0-0 0, Tyler Sommer 10 0-0 28, Eli Roberts 8 2-3 19, Will Collins 5 3-3 14; TOTALS: 24 8-10 66; Three-point field goals: 10 (Tyler Sommer 8, Eli Roberts and Will Collins 1 apiece)

Valley (2-1, 2-1 SOC II): George Arnett 7 1-1 18, Hunter Edwards 0 0-0 0, Colt Buckle 11 0-1 22, Parker Lute 0 0-0 0, Carter Nickel 3 0-0 6, Jace Copley 4 4-4 15, Levi Stewart 6 1-2 13; TOTALS: 31 6-8 74; Three-point field goals: 6 (George Arnett and Jace Copley 3 apiece)

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved