Tri-Valley scored the game's first nine points and was never seriously threatened in handing Vermillion its first loss of the boys basketball season Dec. 20.
The visiting Mustangs ran away to a 20-9 first-quarter lead. While the Tanagers rallied to within 27-19 in the second period, Tri-Valley quickly regained complete control and led 34-21 at the half en route to a 68-47 victory.
Any hope of a second-half rally quickly evaporated when the Tanagers committed two quick turnovers and missed four free throws to start the third quarter. Tri-Valley, a smooth team which handled the ball well, began to keep the clock moving, taking only high-percentage shots. The Mustangs' largest margin was 23 at 68-.45 in the game's final minute.
Free throws might have enabled Vermillion to make the contest a bit closer, but except for Austin Krier's seven of eight from the stripe, the rest of the team could hit on only four of 13. Tri-Valley also sank three long-range field goals in 14 tries while the Tanagers didn't sink a single three-pointer.
With two previous starters sidelined for disciplinary reasons, Anthony Leber and J.T. Sorensen, who had been impressive in the Tanagers' three season-opening wins, earned starting roles. Quick to come off the bench, too, were three other young players—Nick Jensen, Jayce Huska and Carter Andre.
Krier scored 19 points and Sorensen 11 to lead Vermillion offensively. Rebounds were even at 20 for each ballclub. Sorensen was the Tanagers' leader off the boards with six.
Vermillion, after a home non-conference contest against Tea Area last night (Thursday), will be on the road twice next week, starting with a Big 8 Conference tilt at West Central on Thursday. VHS leads the Big 8 standings at the moment with a 3-0 record. The following night the Tanagers play at Parkston in a boys-girls doubleheader.