LEXINGTON -- Mount Vernon coach Nick Coon thinks his Yellow Jackets have figured out how to win.
The latest example came Wednesday night in a 52-47 Ohio Cardinal Conference victory at Lexington, his team's third consecutive victory, a streak that includes wins against Wooster and Madison.
The wins have come in various fashions, featuring key contributions from different players.
"Find a way to win. That's kind of the mantra," Coon said after the win against the Minutemen, a victory that improved his team to 7-12 overall and 6-6 in the OCC.
Keep in mind the Yellow Jackets started the season 0-5 and have broken even since the rough start.
"It's been different each of the last three games, finding a way to win in different ways," Coon said. "But the key is we are finding a way where in some games earlier this year, we couldn't do it.
"I think that speaks to our players' growth as individuals and as a collective unit," he said.
Lexington (4-11, 0-10) led 15-14 after one quarter before Mount Vernon outscored the hosts 16-10 in the second to take a 30-25 edge at halftime.
The Yellow Jackets managed to hit just one of nine shots in the third quarter, a triple by sophomore Hudson Rohler, but still led 34-32 headed to the fourth period.
The key was a defense that allowed Lexington to make just two of seven FG tries in the period and also forced three turnovers, two of which came in the final 90 seconds of the quarter.
Mount Vernon built the lead to 50-40 with 3:31 left in the fourth on two FTs by junior Beau Bridges. But the Minutemen, featuring a roster that has just one senior and relies heavily on four sophomores, roared back to trail just 50-47 with 1:41 remaining.
The Yellow Jackets' defense again came up with two huge stops in the final 100 seconds and Bridges clinched the win with two more foul shots with five seconds remaining.
"They are never going to quit with Coach (Scott) Hamilton and the type of kids they have. The knocked down a few shots and they sped us up a little bit," Coon said.
"We had a couple of turnovers and we weren't able to get to the free throw line or convert at the rim. It tightened up at the end, but our kids never lost their composure. We moved onto the next play and found a way to win," he said.
Coon knew this season would be a learning experience.
"We only had two guys coming into this year with any true varsity experience. So now our guys have been in the fire and we've come out of it and we're learning and getting better. That's the exciting part," he said.
"I think we've learned a lot about ourselves. I think we have a better understanding of how we have to play to have a chance to be successful and it's the right time of the year to do it," Coon said.
Rohler led Mount Vernon with 16 points. Bridges had 14. Senior forward Blake Meyer had nine and senior Dayne Burgess added eight.
Sophomore 6-6 forward Baden Forup led Lexington with 14 points. Hudson Moore, a 6-2 sophomore forward, added 11. Sophomore guard AJ Young and junior forward Caden Eichler each added seven.
Mount Vernon plays at non-league foe Delaware Hayes on Thursday in its regular-season finale before the post-season begins next week.
Lexington hosts Madison on Thursday evening and Wooster on Friday, still seeking its first league win of the season.