The winning streak is now six for the Smoky Valley boys.
After opening the basketball season with losses to Abilene and Southeast of Saline, the Vikings are now on a serious roll.
Nickerson was the latest team to succumb to the red-hot Vikings, who used their inside game to hand the Panthers a 54-42 loss on Tuesday.
Smoky Valley made 16 of 27 shots inside the arc as it pounded the ball inside against the Panthers.
Nick Reinert, who made 11 of 12 free throws, scored 16 points to lead the Vikings, now 6-2. Jacob Adams supplied 11 points.
• Smoky Valley girls 36, Nickerson 31 — The Vikings finally got back into the win column as they are now 2-6 on the season.
They needed a comeback to do it, outscoring the Panthers 14-4 over the final 8 minutes. Jordan Otto and Kate Deterding scored 8 points apiece to lead the Vikings.
• Goessel boys 39, Canton-Galva 33 — The Eagles wasted another solid defensive effort as putting the ball in the basket continues to be a problem.
C-G came out smoking with a 13-6 first-quarter lead, but scored just 20 points the rest of the way. The Eagles were up 20-19 at the half, but the Bluebirds scored 10 points in both the third and fourth quarters and it was enough.
“We handled their pressure well, which has been a problem for us this season (9 turnovers),” C-G coach Shane Duncan said. “We ran our offense well and had a lot of open looks, once again, couldn't get anything to fall. Freshman Landon Everett gave us some great minutes off the bench. He really gave us a spark in the second quarter after Goessel went on a run.”
Hunter Pearson scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to lead the Eagles. Reed Wiens had 7 rebounds to lead the way.
• Goessel girls 38, Canton-Galva 35 — The Eagles gave the highly athletic Bluebirds a scare as they nearly overcame a 17-point deficit.
C-G was down 25-8 before methodically chipping away to make it exciting.
It was another big game for Kelli Nightingale as she led the Eagles with 17 points.
• Centre boys 55, Little River 50 — The Cougars doubled the Redskins 32-16 in the first half before Little River charged to close the gap late.
Little River outscored Centre 18-11 in the third quarter as well as 16-12 in the fourth, but the slow start was too much to overcome.
Clay Zeller continued his season-long excellence with 23 points for Little River. Levi Swenson and Jace Garrison both just missed doubles with 9 apiece
• Centre girls 53, Little River 36 — Little River appeared to be well on its way to a victory, leading 27-19 at the half.
Then the bottom dropped out.
The loss spoiled a magnificent 22-point game by Melanie Renken, who was 7 of 12 from the field and 8 of 10 at the line.
• Hesston boys 61, Kingman 42 — Hesston was on fire in the first half with 36 points and cruised to the easy win.
Reese Nebel scored 13 points in the first half and finished with 19 to pace the Swathers. Zach Vogt and Zach Esau added 10 points apiece and Cole McCreary added 9.
• Kingman girls 51, Hesston 40 — The Eagles continue to be a thorn in the side of the Swathers.
Kingman jumped out to leads of 16-12 after a quarter and 28-20 at the half as its defense never allowed the Swathers to get back in it.
Kailey Jo Ince topped the Swathers with 15 points and Celbi Richardson chipped in with 12.
• Rural Vista boys 46, Elyria Christian School 44 — The Eagles continue to play close games and continue to come up just short.
For the second straight game, they lost by two.
A 13-3 deficit after 8 minutes made the Eagles play from behind and they nearly pulled it off as Tyler Thiessen had a huge night with 26 points and 8 rebounds.
"Another slow start for us tonight put us in a rough position having to expend so much energy to come back," ECS coach Zach Goodrich said. "Our defense was better in the second half. We hit some big shots in the second, especially coming from Aidan Fields who has been hindered with an injury here of late. We had some great bench contributions as well. We are continuing to make improvements and I'm excited to see these guys continue to grow."
• Rural Vista girls 46, Elyria Christian School 36 — Elyria was up 19-17 at the half, but the Heat finally solved the tough Eagle defense in the second half. A 16-9 third quarter flipped the game Rural Vista's way.
Melea Redenbaugh had a breakout game for the Eagles with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Misha Redenbaugh came up with 8 steals as she was a disruptor.
"We came out and played pretty well in the first half tonight," ECS coach Greg Fields said. "We had a hard time securing the ball in the second half, and our turnovers and missed rebounds turned into some easy shots for them. Melea Redenbaugh had the best game of her career. She did a great job finishing under the basket, even when she was closely guarded. Her presence was definitely missed in the fourth quarter after fouling out."
• Moundridge boys 56, Ell-Saline 54 — Dylan Sugars made a pair of clutch free throws with 9 seconds left to secure the win for the Wildcats.
The Cardinals made a furious rally in the final period. Moundridge was up 32-23 at the half, but Ell-Saline fought back.
Noah Eichelberger had another big game with 25 points and Lantonio Unruh chipped in with 13. Anthony Otte pulled down 7 rebounds.
• Moundridge girls 41, Ell-Saline 34 — Moundridge held the Cardinals to just 2 points in the third quarter, which was the difference in the game. MHS had led just 16-15 at the half.
Kaela Helms led MHS with 12 points, one more than Lexi Lorimor.
• Bennington boys 69, Inman 57 — The Teutons lost their second straight game after a 6-1 start.
Leading by just 2 points at the half, the Bulldogs exploded for 22 points in the third quarter to take a 17-point lead. Inman did score 24 points in the final period, but it was too little, too late.
Payton Froese led Inman with 15 points, one more than Lucas Barlow.
• Inman girls 30, Bennington 22 — A gritty defensive effort led the Teutons to the win.
Inman gave up no more than 6 points in any quarter.
Rachel Harman's 10 points led the winners.