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Valparaiso falls to Crown Point at home

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In one of the most electrifying games of the season, the Vikings hosted the Crown Point Bulldogs at home. Valpo started off the game with three quick threes, two by Caden Crowell and one by Phillip Amones. But the Bulldogs held their ground, keeping it within a couple of points the entire first. At the end of the quarter, Crown Point had the lead, 15-13.


The Vikings came out in the second quarter red-hot, going on an 11-3 run and forcing the Bulldogs to use a timeout. It was Jack Smiley’s quarter, scoring nine points out of the team's fifteen. Valpo went into halftime with the lead over the Bulldogs, 28-25.


In the third quarter, Crown Point went on a run of their own, making it a seven-point deficit for the Vikings, 39-32. On the next possession, Jack Smiley converts an and-1 to bring Valpo within four.


The Bulldogs capitalized on the missed free throws in the quarter by the Vikings, and they were able to turn them into points on their side of the floor. A late bucket by Caden Crowell gave the Vikings momentum going into the fourth, only down by four, 46-42.  


After a couple of buckets made by the Vikings, it was a one-point game, 47-46, and Crown Point still had the lead. Three offensive possessions in a row, Smiley was able to get to his mid-range pullup and convert all chances, giving the Vikings a two-point lead with three minutes left. With two minutes left, Valpo committed their fifth foul of the quarter, meaning that for the rest of the game, Crown Point will be shooting two free throws every time they get fouled. After a Smiley turnover and layup on the other end, the Bulldogs had the lead by one, 55-54. With under a minute left, the Bulldogs went to the line to shoot two, converted both, and took a 57-54 lead. The three-point shot by KJ Avery was no good, but when the Bulldogs tried to advance the ball down the court off of the rebound, a steal by Julian Stokes gave the Vikings the ball back with 15 seconds remaining. With seven seconds left, Coach Lieske called a timeout to draw up one final play. Jack Smiley’s three-point attempt was no good, and the Bulldogs ended up winning the game, 58-55. With under a second left, the Bulldogs fouled Smiley, and he converted one free throw, making it only a three-point loss for the Vikings. 


Smiley led the team in scoring and assists, with 28 points and six assists; he also grabbed five rebounds in the game. Caden Crowell had 12 points, shooting 2/3 from beyond the arc. Alec Platipodis also chipped in six points while pulling down seven rebounds. This is the Vikings first loss at home this season, with only one home game left on the schedule. They have more DAC action coming up next week, going against Michigan City on Tuesday and Chesterton on Friday. The Vikings move to 16-5 on the season with only three games left.

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