EMPORIA — The Cinderella ride for the Smoky Valley boys came to an end on Thursday.
The Vikings, who entered the Class 4A Division II State Tournament with a 10-12 record, got behind early to last year’s state runner-up Rock Creek and could never recover in a 65-43 loss.
Rock Creek jumped out to a 24-16 first-quarter lead and led 38-27 at the half. Any hopes of a Viking comeback ended when the Mustangs outscored the Vikings by 11 points in the third quarter, 19-8.
The Vikings were just 14 of 45 from the field as the Rock Creek defense was nails. Nick Reinert and Trey Schneider paced the Vikings with 12 points apiece. Brett Heitschmidt came off the bench to furnish 10.
Rock Creek lit it up from 3-point range, making 6 of 11. The Mustangs play Hugoton in the semifinals tonight. Wichita Collegiate and undefeated Girard tangle in the other semi.