56-43 win advances Vikings to next roundVikings face Burke High School on March 4
Defending against the Wareham Vikings has been a demanding task this season, as Coyle & Cassidy High School discovered on Thursday.
Though Coyle & Cassidy had a size advantage, the Vikings hounded the Warriors – forcing turnovers, making steals and pressing their opponents at key moments – for a definitive, if somewhat scrappy, victory.
Wareham won 56-43 at Wareham High School in the first game of the Division 3 state basketball tournament. It must have felt a bit like coming home after being shut out of last year’s tournament, an uncharacteristic fate for a team used to dominating the South Coast Conference: year, after year, after year.
Thursday’s match proved to be three quarters of frantic basketball until the Vikings took control in the final quarter. A “three-for-three” moment came when senior guard Ashantay Tavares (No. 3) hit a trey to put the Vikings up 49-39 with 1:30 left in the game.
In fact, at times it appeared the Vikings couldn’t miss. In the third quarter, junior forward Jahmal Silva fought off two Warrior defenders, finding the rim despite being heavily boxed in. Moments later, senior forward Jovahn Thomas made a dramatic, off balance shot to put Wareham ahead 30-22.
There isn’t much time for the Vikings to enjoy the victory. The team returns to the court on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. for the tournament’s semi-final game, to be played at Wareham High School. The Vikings will face Burke High School of Boston.