KIMBERLY — The last time Jasper faced Hayden the game wasn’t decided until the final buzzer.
Jasper wasn’t about to let history repeat itself. The Vikings scored the first 10 points against Hayden in their Class 5A, Area 11 Tournament opener on Tuesday at Mortimer Jordan en route to a 70-47 rout of the Wildcats.
Jasper, which won the area tournament championship over Mortimer Jordan last season, will get a chance to repeat that feat. The Vikings face the host team at 7 p.m. Thursday in the area tournament championship game.
Against Hayden, Jasper led 23-11 after the opening quarter. Both teams scored 11 points in the second quarter as the Vikings took a 34-22 lead into the half.
The Wildcats cut a 17-point lead to nine points in the third quarter. Jasper led 48-38 going into the fourth.
The Vikings (17-11) opened the fourth quarter with a 12-0 run that put Hayden away. Trinity Epps led the run and finished with seven points in the quarter. Both John David Harrell and Antione Harris had four points in the quarter.
Four Jasper players scored in double figures. Antione Harris had 13 points, Epps, Harrell and Brent Geeter had 11, Harrison Saunders put in nine, Anthony Harris added three and both Sheldrick Cherry and Averiun Berry had two.
For Hayden (16-10), Nathan Morgan and Carson Rickles each had 12 points.
Last season Jasper upset host team Mortimer Jordan in the area tournament championship game, winning 51-46.
The Vikings earned a home sub-region game where they lost to No. 2 Fairfield.
Jasper 40, Hayden 38
The incredible turnaround continues for the Jasper girls basketball team.
In a game that came down to the final possession, Jordan Gilbert stole a pass with less than two seconds left on the clock, preserving a 40-38 victory over Hayden in their Class 5A, Area 11 Tournament matchup at Mortimer Jordan High School.
With the win, the Vikings earn a spot in next week’s sub-region playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Jasper (19-11) plays Mortimer Jordan (22-9) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the area tournament championship game. The winner hosts a sub-region playoff game while the loser travels.
Against Hayden, Jasper led by as many as five points in the fourth quarter after a pair of Kelsey Shelton free throws made the score 40-35, but Hayden got a basket and free throw to cut the gap to two points.
Gilbert did her part to seal the win, grabbing a rebound and coming up with the steal in the final seconds.
Idaysia Mercer paced Jasper with 18 points, Gilbert had eight, Shelton put in six, Alex Oliver had four points and both Hallie Harrell and Cagejia Hosey had two.
For Hayden (16-8), Lani Adams had 12 points and Gracie Benton put in 11.
The Jasper girls, who had won just 16 games over the previous three years combined, finished as the area runner up in 2014, 2015 and 2016.