Vikings outlast Cougars

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A stronger second half was the difference for the Vanier Vikings.

Austin Warren of the Vanier Vikings is defended by Doug Isaac (14), Inyota Mwunvaneza (9) and Wyatt Parent-Beard (5) of the Caronport Cougars during senior boys basketball action on Thursday evening. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

By Katie Brickman

The Vikings and Caronport Cougars were only separated by six points at the half time break. Then Vanier pulled everything together for the 74-47 victory in senior boys basketball league action.

“We played a lot smarter and pulled up our intensity up on defence rather than offence and let the offence come to us naturally,” said Tristan Diggins from Vanier.

It was a strong start for the Vikings, as they never trailed at the end of any quarter and used various players in the mix on offence.

Their point guards, Diggins and Matt Stefanovic were strong at bringing the ball up the court as well as dishing off to teammates, including their post players.

“It (down low) just opened up and I saw that, so I popped it in there,” said Diggins. ”Our posts were good enough in getting it into the net.”

It was a good start for the Cougars, but they faded, especially in the fourth quarter as the Vikings pulled away with the game.

“We hustled hard and had more energy (in the first half) than we did in the second half. In the second half, we got tired and started getting lazy,” said Jonny Toews of Caronport. “I think it was because we played so hard in the first half and wore ourselves out.”

This was the second game of the week for the Cougars, as they lost to Peacock on Tuesday in a hard match. Despite the quick turn-around, the Cougars felt much more certain of their chances against Vanier.

“There is a lot more confidence going into this game,” said Toews. “We had a good practice Wednesday and came in more prepared.”

There was a height advantage for the Vikings down low as they used Zeb Smith, Austin Warren and Gamaniel Lado quite well in the paint to score points and be aggressive on the rebounds.

“In the first half, we were lacking in that (rebounds), so we pulled up our shorts and boxed out to get those points,” said Diggins.

The Cougars feel like they are improving as they continue to work through some new players and learning the system that coach George Willatt has drawn up this season.

“We have so many new guys and they are still learning how to play the game,” said Toews. “They are working hard, but it is a lot of pressure for all of us. The main thing is that we are learning.”

Organizations: Vikings

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