The Vauxhall Vikings boys basketball team were competitive in all three of its games on the weekend in a tournament in Stirling, posting a 1-2 record in the process.
A last-minute change to the schedule had the Vikings compete against the hosts in its opener on Friday in a 12-point loss.
“It was our first game and you could tell the kids were nervous. We were blowing lay-ups everywhere,” said Daryl Johnson, head coach of the Vauxhall Vikings boys basketball team. “Some of our guys, it was their first ever high school basketball game and for Stirling, they are all Grade 12s, and they got a pretty decent team going on. I was happy with our effort.”
The Vikings managed to bounce back in a Saturday morning game with a double-digit victory over Immanuel Christian.
“We were able to rotate the kids more that game. We are 13-players deep, so at times it’s going to be a battle for playing time,” said Johnson. “It was a lot better game for us. We had 45 points at half and the first game we only put up 50 the whole game so the baskets were coming easier and the kids were more confident.”
The Vikings made their way to the consolation final against Edmonton Christian and led for most of the game, before a disastrous stretch at the end handed the Vikings the loss.
“We led for like 37 minutes right form the get go to near the very end. Then the last two minutes we collapsed,” said Johnson. “It was mostly turnovers and guys were rushing things.”
The Vikings played the Senator Gershaw Gators last night, with results unavailable at press time to open up the River Ridge Basketball League season. As the team moves forward, Johnson has been pleased with the team’s early returns on the hardcourt in Stirling.
“Our defence was better than I figured it would be given the amount of practice time we had, but our offence was maybe a little worse than I thought it would be,” said Johnson. “We just didn’t look comfortable a lot of the time with the basketball.”
The Vikings are in Coaldale on the weekend for a tournament.
“We don’t have any home games for our fans until January, but as far as the team, I really like what we have, and it’s going to be an exciting group to watch. They are going to compete with anyone in 2A,” said Johnson.