By Greg Price
One step at a time.
That is how the Vauxhall Vikings boys basketball team is taking its hardcourt season as it looks to improve its game as it inches its way to the high school equivalent of March Madness.
According to head coach Daryl Johnson, those steps were positive moving forward over the weekend with a tournament in Claresholm, despite a 1-2 record.
The Vikings opened its tournament run with a five-point loss to Rundle College.
“It was a good contest both ways. Both teams had their runs and even down to the last minute we had a chance to tie it, but we missed our shot and they got a lay-up,” said Johnson.
The team bounced back with a 15-point win over Highwood in an early-morning game.
“It started off slow for both teams before we started to get going,” said Johnson. “Adam Kress had a pretty nice game for us being aggressive. He’s figuring out he’s one of the better players on the team and he’s beginning to show more confidence in himself.”
The consolation final featured a loss against Eagle Butte. Banged up from the morning game, the Vikings simply could not keep up for four quarters of basketball.
“It was a two-point game heading into the fourth quarter and then we only scored six points and they put up 20,” said Johnson. “We were definitely out of gas by then. We had three guys injured from our morning game. It was very physical the whole tournament. The refs were letting a lot of stuff go that you usually don’t see, it was very physical.”
But, between the wins and losses and stat lines, Johnson sees a Vikings squad that has been improving its game since the start of the season in every facet.
“It’s been definitely an improvement. I think our defence has improved from what we have been playing. Offence has improved slightly, it’s still not where we need it to be, but it has improved,” said Johnson. “We are on the right track. It’s a matter of getting healthy now.”
The Vikings are off to a tournament in Taber this weekend with its first game at 2:30 p.m. on Friday against Fort Macleod.