This weekend, the Vikings played their final conference basketball games of the season against the Wrangell Wolves. It was Wrangell’s homecoming weekend, and Petersburg coaches Rick and Dino Brock say the crowds were amped to see the rival teams compete.
Friday was a strong night for the home team, with the Wolves beating the Vikings 52-to-49 in overtime. Coach Rick said the varsity Vikings started off well, but the tables turned near the end of the game.
“We were up eight to three, and then we didn’t score for a good seven minutes of game time,” said Coach Rick. So, by the time we hit a basket, we were behind. Wrangell scored 16-to-4 in the second quarter, so we went in at halftime down 23-to-12. But then, in the third quarter, we slowly kept getting ourselves back in the game. We outscored them 12-to-7 in the third quarter. We were down six going into the fourth. We got it to one possession with about three minutes to go — then kind of went back and forth, back and forth. We were down two, had the basketball, called a timeout, and set up a play. And Jack Engel did a tough shot after a nice pass from Rick Cumps. Jack had seven points in overtime, but he was the only one who was able to score for us. So we found ourselves down three with less than ten seconds to go. We had two shots at the basket and missed both.”
The Lady Wolves were also victorious, beating the Lady Vikings 39-to-13. However, Coach Dino says the Lady Vikings started out on the right foot.
“On Friday’s game, we started out a little slow offensively,” said Coach Dino. “We dug ourselves a hole. Then we just played hard and kind of worked our way back and forth. The game just kind of went on while we figured out some things defensively. But we played well, especially the first half.”
On Saturday, both of Petersburg’s teams fared better. The Vikings narrowly beat the Wolves 35-to-33 — Coach Rick says it was a hard-fought game.
“Saturday was one of those games that was just kind of back and forth the whole time,” said Coach Rick. “We still had too many turnovers. I believe we had four turnovers out of our first five possessions, but we were able to settle in and tie eight-to-eight at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter, we were able to really gain the momentum of the game. I felt they had a tough three to finish the half — we were still up to 20-to-15. We had a four point lead going into the final quarter and it kind of stayed that way. And we had a couple of critical turnovers last minute. Wrangell was able to score and get themselves back within two, so it was a hard fought win: 35-to-33. Defensive battles are not fun to watch. But, yeah. It was a successful weekend.”
The Lady Vikings lost a second time, but in a closer match than the first — the Lady Wolves beat them 51-to-21. Coach Dino said the Lady Vikings were more aggressive in Saturday’s game.
“Saturday, we came out doing the same kind of thing — we started out a little slow. Over two quarters, we played them even, or a little bit ahead. We played really well offensively — especially in the second quarter, moving the basketball and getting good looks at the basket. Then in the fourth quarter, they got hot for a while, and then the game changed. But I thought we played extremely hard both nights.”
This was the Vikings’ final conference game, but the basketball season isn’t over. Next Wednesday, the teams will compete in Regionals. Depending on their performance in those games, they could move on to the state tournaments.