The Petersburg Vikings traveled to Valdez for the Valdez Elks Invitational over the weekend and come home fifth place winners.
“We had three games that came down to the last possession,” Head Coach Rick Brock said. “We easily could have been in the championship game.”
The Vikings faced Barrow for their first game of the tournament.
“Playing against teams that we have no idea who they are made it difficult in the beginning,” Brock stated. “The two teams were just getting to know each other.”
According to Brock, the play was very physical throughout the tournament.
They boys struggled in the first half and were down 10 to 22 in the first half, only scoring three points in the second quarter.
“There just never seemed to be any rhythm on the offensive end,” Brock stated. “With this team, if we struggle with that then we struggle with the defense as well.”
The Vikings made some adjustments at half time and came out focusing on playing one possession at a time and were only down 22 to 30 at the end of the third quarter.
“We found our rhythm in the third quarter,” Brock said. “We also had a great defensive game in the fourth quarter and held them to only four points.”
Petersburg and Barrow were tied at the end and went into overtime.
“We had quite a bit of back and forth but grabbed some momentum when Colby Bell hit a dunk,” Brock stated. “In the end, Michael Brock was fouled twice and made all of his free throws.”
The Vikings won 44 to 41.
Petersburg was led in points by Tristan Welton with 18 points followed by Bell with 13 and Brock with seven.
“It was a very good game for us,” Brock said. “Being able to battle back from being down in the beginning.”
The Vikings played their second game against the home team of Valdez.
“We started out again a little flat and were down 15 to nine in the first quarter and Valdez had a huge scoring second quarter bringing in 22 points,” Brock stated. “They had a couple of players that were just on fire and we couldn't stop them.”
Petersburg was down 36 to 32 at the half and took the time in the locker room to remember the position they were in the night before.
“We came out and played, again, one possession at a time and had a very good third quarter scoring 20 points,” Brock said. “We got some control of their good players and held them to 12 points and got somewhat back into the game.”
The fourth quarter found the two teams tied and the Vikings got into foul trouble and ended up losing 62 to 67.
“I thought we had the momentum going for us for a while and we would have an offensive foul called,” Brock stated. “But to come back from being down 16 points, I was really proud of the way the team played.”
Kayin McKay led the Vikings in scoring with 18 points followed by Bell with 12 and Welton and Brock brought in 11 points each.
The third place game was played against Hutchison out of Fairbanks.
“This was just a hard fought game from the beginning,” Brock said. “We were down 13 to 17 in the first quarter and we were ahead at half time 27 to 26.”
Brock had a 10 point first quarter and an eight point second quarter.
“We had foul trouble from the beginning and they were making all of their free throws,” Brock stated. “The battle continued in the third quarter and we were down 43 to 44 going into the fourth quarter.”
According to Brock, the game went back and forth throughout the second half and it came down to the last possession of the game.
“With 12 seconds left to the game and Hutchison came down to score the winning two points,” Brock said. “We had three people around him and couldn't stop the score.”
The Vikings lost with a score of 55 to 53.
Brock led the Vikings in scoring with 25 points followed by Bell with 10 and Welton finished with nine points.
“These were some very hard fought games,” Brock stated. “We were really in all three of them and given a couple of breaks the outcomes could have been very different.”
Two of the Vikings, Bell and Brock were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Vikings will face Wrangell for Homecoming this weekend.