Chiefs force 24 turnovers in 65-59 victory over the Airline Vikings

Devonta Snow rips the ball from the opponent. See more photos in the Jan. 11 print edition Photos by LeRon Massey

How many times have we seen the Chiefs make a defensive play late in the fourth quarter that changed the outcome of the game?

How many championship-caliber teams can you recall that didn’t find a way to win the close games?

Seamless Gutters

Defense wins championships. Although the Chiefs are a high-powered offensive team, their defense is a major reason why they’re a top team in the district. Tuesday against the Airline Vikings only showed the district the Chiefs are a serious threat to every team in the state. The Chiefs were off to a slow start against the Vikings falling behind 6-0 early.

Defensively they were using a full court press to try to force turnovers but unfortunately it led to easy transition baskets for the Vikings. Darius Young sank a 3-pointer to give the Chiefs the lead 11-9.

At the end of the first the Chiefs led 15-14. After trading baskets for the majority of the second quarter, Devonta Snow came up with a steal which led to a ferocious slam to cut the Viking’s lead to 23-21. In the second, neither team had more than a 5-point lead.

At halftime the Chiefs trailed 27-30. Key turnovers and easy baskets for the Vikings enabled their halftime lead. The Chiefs first possession of the second half resulted in a backcourt violation, the last thing the Chiefs needed in a hostile environment. To make up for that, the Chiefs forced a turnover and got the ball right back.

The third was similar to the first half, with each team trading baskets. Snow took over the third scoring 10 points. Late in the third Devin Robinson sank a 3 from way behind the arc to give the Chiefs the lead 47-44. Coach Micah Coleman and the Chiefs found themselves in another nail biter.

The Chiefs led 49-48 at the start of the final quarter. The Vikings attempted to throw an alley-oop which is snatched in the air by Snow who then throws an outlet pass to Nathan Curtis for an easy layup. The fourth quarter was highlighted by multiple questionable calls from the referees. After a technical foul was called, the Vikings attempted to shoot the free throws, but missed both, a perfect case of “ball doesn’t lie.” With the game on the line, Snow stepped up for the Chiefs getting back-to-back steals leading to easy transition baskets for his teammates.

After the amazing plays from Snow and his teammates the Chiefs led 57-51. With a minute and a half left in the game the Vikings bounced back to knot it up at 59. With just 30 seconds left in the game, Snow snagged another huge steal to pull them ahead 61-59. Another easy layup from Snow increased the lead to 63-59. Curtis then seals the game with a pair of three throws.

Snow finished the game with 35 points, 9 steals, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Curtis was the only the other player for the Chiefs in double digits with 10 points.

The Chiefs will host Benton Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Tee Pee.