FAIRFIELD — This heated crosstown rivalry just got a little hotter.
DeMarre Walker hit two free throws with 9 seconds to play in overtime to give the Vanden High boys basketball team a 59-58 Solano County Athletic Conference win over Fairfield at Ronald D. Thompson Gymnasium, Thursday.
The win ups the Vikings record to 4-1 in the SCAC (112-10 overall) and moves them into a tie atop the standings with Falcons (18-4, 4-1 SCAC).
Vanden coach Micheal Holloway felt it was a big win, but also knows he’s learned from some of the best.
“It is, especially with Eddie (Wilson back as coach),” Holloway said of the victory. “Eddie is, by far, with coach (John) Nagle at Solano, my mentor. I watch him closely at what he does and how he motivates his team.
“So to be able to get my team to be able to come in here, a hostile environment, and play up to the potential that we know they have, it’s exciting. I’m just glad we got this win. I’m happy to say that we are tied for first place right now.”
The game was knotted at 50 heading into the extra four minutes of play and the Vikings grabbed a quick 52-50 advantage, but Raimauri Barron brought the home crowd to its feet with a 3-pointer to give Fairfield a 53-52 lead.
The Vikings bounced back with two easy buckets, but Maurice Trotter kept the Falcons in it with a bucket inside to cut the lead to 56-55 with 1 minute, 6 seconds to play.
After the Vikings made just one of two free throws, Fairfield’s Trotter came up big again, nailing a 3-pointer with 18 seconds to go for a 58-57 lead.
Vanden’s Walker drove down the middle of court, reached the 3-point line and was fouled to set up the game-winning foul shots.
Falcons head coach Eddie Wilson, whose team had trouble shooting the 3-pointer, wasn’t happy with his squad’s overall performance.
“We couldn’t shoot and we couldn’t guard the ball. That’s how you lose games,” he said. “It’s that simple. We haven’t played well in 2014. If they don’t decide to do the right things, the season is going to be a short one for us.”
Though his team got the win on the road, Holloway doesn’t think it will be easy when the Falcons come to his place in the SCAC finale later this season.
“It made a statement, but at the end of the day, I do know that Eddie will have his team ready, as usual,” the coach said. “They’ve had a great season so far and we’re just trying to get to that level of where they are and where other teams in our section our.
“Our kids fought and they kept fighting. They didn’t get down and I’m just proud of them with the things they were able to do today.”
Walker led the Vikings with 17 points, while Tony Terry III had 12, Jihad Woods had 10 and Thomas Avent had nine.
Barron led the Falcons with 13 points, while Trotter finished with 12.
Fairfield won the JV game 64-35, with Jaronte Robinson scoring 16 points and Cameron Ross-Reed 10 for the Falcons.
Anthony Achante led the Vikings with eight points and Phoenix Shackelford added six.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.