Vikings tournament hopes dashed in 69-49 loss
There will be no championship banner for the Vikings this year, after all, but the team defied expectations, delivering a season and record to be proud of. On Tuesday, the team lost 69-49 against No. 1 seeded Norwell in the quarter final game of the South Division 3 state tournament in Brockton.
Overmatched in size, but definitely not spirit or speed, the Vikings (No. 5 seed) fought until the final seconds. Advancing this far, this year was seriously in doubt when the team got off to a 0-3 start back in December.
“They worked extremely hard, and I don’t think a lot of people expected us to be here,” said Head Coach Steve Faniel.
At the start of the game, the Vikings stayed within striking range of Norwell, trailing 14-8 at the end of the first quarter. Wareham workhorse Jovahn Thomas, a senior forward who scored his 1,000th point back in January, looked prepared to will his team into the lead during the second quarter.
Thomas scored seven consecutive points – two smooth jump shots and one flawless trey – which helped close the gap 33-24 going into halftime.
Norwell returned ready, however, and quickly pulled away. Wareham’s perimeter game, which it used effectively against Burke during its previous outing, wasn’t enough to elevate the team toward a win.
“We couldn’t get a rhythm going,” said Faniel. “[Norwell] was long and kept us out of the paint.”
Clearly frustrated at coming so close to a shot at the division title, some Wareham players let their emotions show after the final buzzer. Faniel said that heart is something he hopes the team doesn’t lose next year.
“After this, I’m going to tell the seniors we’re going to miss them and tell the younger kids to remember this feeling, so they come back not wanting to feel it again,” he said.