Petersburg Pilot -


Hoops season ends at Region V Tournament


The Petersburg Vikings traveled to Sitka last week for the Region V Tournament and that is where the season for the Vikings ended.

"We started out play against Mt. Edgecumbe," Head Coach Rick Brock stated. "We knew going into this tournament that to be successful we would have to play excellent basketball and have things go our way."

During the first quarter, the Vikings played well but were down 13 to 17 at the end.

"The pace of the game was a little too fast for us but we were still doing fine," Brock said. "In the second quarter, we missed some key free throws and some open shots and really lost our momentum and Mt. Edgecumbe kept playing at their same speed."

The Vikings were behind 16 to 32 at half time.

Brock felt if they had gone into half time having scored a few more points, the beginning of the third quarter would have been very different.

"Coming back from a 16 point deficit at tournament time, even though we have done it before, is a huge task," Brock stated. "If it had been eight or nine points behind we may have had a different result as well."

In the beginning of the third quarter, Mt. Edgecumbe came out and scored a couple of times quickly and broke the game open.

"By that time, it was too late and we were mentally frustrated and very tired," Brock said. "Mt. Edgecumbe is a very fast team and we just couldn't keep up with the pacing."

During the second half of the game, the Vikings were spread out defensively and were forced to play the opponents game.

"They took their time offensively," Brock said. "They made us play defense and they were just too quick for us."

The Vikings lost to Mt. Edgecumbe with a score of 25 to 41 with Tristan Welton leading the team in scoring with 10 points followed by Michael Brock with seven.

"It was a heartbreaking, frustrating game for us," Brock stated. "We had hoped to play better and we had played better when we were up there a month ago, but we just didn't bring our A game."

Brock also said that the team didn't play poorly, they were just limited on offensive possessions and they couldn't score enough points.

Sitka had lost to Mt. Edgecume earlier which put them against the Vikings Thursday.

"Sitka struggled Wednesday night against Mt. Edgecumbe so when they came into the game Thursday, they were very aggressive," Brock stated. "We knew going in that they are a big physical team and we came into the same scenario with this game and we just couldn't stop them."

TheVikings fell behind early, down nine to 16 at the end of the first quarter and 19 to 36 at half time.

"The gap kind of just stayed," Brock stated.

The Vikings lost to Sitka with a score of 48 to 67 with Welton leading the team again with 14 points followed by Brock with 12; Colby Bell with six and Kayin McCay and Dan Loucks each scored five.

"There was never a moment that we let down physically or mentally," Brock stated. "We really battled, not that we played great basketball, but when we were on the floor we left it all on the court and we did all we could do."

Brock also explained that Sitka is just bigger than the Vikings and the game was so physical that they couldn't match that physicality.

"I was really proud of their effort and their attitudes on the court," Brock said. "They competed and they did everything I wanted them to, we just didn't score enough points."

Brock had hoped for a better showing for the Regional Tournament.

"Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe are two of the top seven teams in the state," Brock stated. "That is a tough road for us because it is just the tough conference that we are in."

Clayton Franklin and Loucks were named to the All-Academic team. "It is fantastic for them to be honored that way," Brock said. "I am proud that 100 percent of my seniors received this honor."

The Good Sport Award went to Franklin and Connor Yeager.

"I consider a good sport any of the kids that come in every day and work hard and they all have done that," Brock stated. "But I am happy that Connor and Clayton received that, it is a great honor."

The Vikings had two All-Conference team winners in Bell and Brock for their play throughout the year.

Kjell Wittstock won the three-point contest.

"He is a quality shooter," Brock stated. "And this contest spanned the whole district, so he won against players in 2A, 3A and 4A schools. That was a great win for him."

According to Brock, he feels he has a great group of guys coming back next season.

"I will have a group with a lot of good players with a lot of experience," Brock stated. "In our conference with Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe, Sitka will only be losing one player. It will be a tough conference again next year."

Brock feels that the bar is set very high for his returning players.

"In this we have made great progress," Brock said. "We went from a young team at the beginning of the year with not a lot of experience to a quality varsity squad."

Brock is hoping that they can put in a lot of time and work between now and next season and be better in order to be successful in such a tough conference.


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