Vikings struggle against seasoned Glacier Bears
Here Taylor Pullar drops two of his 18 points over a crowd of Glacier Bears on Saturday night.
The Haines Glacier Bears travelled to town to wage war with the Vikings last weekend with games Friday and Saturday nights.
On Friday the Vikings got off to a slow start and it cost them.
The Glacier Bears are an experienced team, with their entire starting lineup returning from last year, and they snapped up the opportunity to take an early lead.
Right away the Bears were up 12-2, the Vikings caught some momentum and closed the gap to 14-21 going into the half.
In the third quarter Petersburg fought very hard matching Haines point for point.
“The problem with doing that is you expend a lot of energy throughout the game to fight back and get close…in the fourth quarter we ran out of steam,” said Viking Head Coach Rick Brock.
Until the fourth, the Viking defense had been able to hold back Haines’ top player — 6’ 7” senior Tyler Swinton — keeping him to 8 points, but he went on a 12 point rampage in the final quarter and the Vikings just couldn’t come back.
“We also had a real hard time on Friday putting the ball in the basket, probably our lowest shooting percentage of the year,” said Brock. “We didn’t play well as a team in our half court offense, so we took too many tough shots and also because of their length and quickness we didn’t get any easy looks at the basket.”
The final score was 34-47.
“Defensively we did a good job. You just can’t win a ball game only scoring 34 points at the varsity level,” said Brock.
Taylor Pullar scored 12, Tristan Welton got 8, and Hugh Fleming scored 6.
On Saturday the Vikings corrected their slow start problem, staying even and even taking the lead at times during the first and second quarters.
Then Haines’ big man Swinton hit a hot streak and scored 15 quick points closing the 2nd quarter with the Vikings down 19-29.
“He just got hotter than heck. He’s a tough guard and he got loose,” said Brock.
It was more of the same in the third, the Vikings battling hard but not getting any breaks and Swinton just knocking down points.
Going into the fourth quarter behind 44-29, with around 6 minutes left in the game, Petersburg started a full court press to cause a few turnovers and get back in the game, and it worked well, cutting the Haines lead to 6 with a few minutes to go.
“We cut the lead to 6, but couldn’t get the ball to bounce our way,” said Brock. “We had a couple of great moves to the basket and the ball just wouldn’t go in. We had a critical steal in our hands and the ball just bounced out and they ended up getting a three-point play out of it.”
The final score was a Petersburg loss 46-55.
Taylor Pullar earned 18, Dan Loucks got 10, and Tristan Welton scored 9.
“The Haines team was very big and athletic. We were outsized in every position. Tristan Welton and Dan Loucks gave up quite a bit of height against the people they were guarding. They battled, especially inside. They worked extremely hard and fought for every inch,” Brock said proudly. “For the weekend both of them showed a lot of heart.”
“The whole team did. Down 16 in the fourth quarter it’s easy to just kind of coast in and be done, but we fought every second and got to within two possessions. We just didn’t get a break to go our way,” said Brock.
Dan Loucks turned up his game and helped lead the drive in the fourth quarter on Saturday. His intensity on offense and defense kept the Vikings in the game.
Overall it was a good challenge for the Vikings. They faced one of the top teams in the league and both games were within striking distance.
“It’s early in the season and there are some key things that we can take away from this weekend. We have got to start ballgames better,” said Brock.
The following are scores from the C-team and JV games this weekend.
On Friday, C-team lost 40-48. Anthony Curtiss had 10 and Connor Yeager had 8.
Saturday, C-team won 42-30. Mark Dyne had 12 and Billy Ware had 8.
On Friday JV lost an incredibly close game 48-49. Kayin McCay had 9 and Colby Bell had 8.
Saturday our JV won 78-39. Kayin McCay had 17. Anthony Curtiss had 12. Colby Bell had 9 and Kaz Aoiki had 8.
Next, the Vikings travel to Ketchikan for a mini-jamboree to get more experience on the Ketchikan court where this year’s regional tournament will be held.