Wareham Vikings' undefeated season rolls on
There’s another half season of basketball to go, but the Wareham Vikings boys basketball team is undefeated in its conference, and has qualified for the state tournament.
The Vikings notched their latest win Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Dighton-Rehoboth, with a score of 63-55. Their record now stands at 9-0 in the South Coast Conference (SCC), and 11-1 overall.
The boys were tied with Case for first place in the SCC, but snatched the top spot with a 80-68 win over Seekonk on Jan. 18, when Case fell to Dighton-Rehoboth. The Vikings will face off against Case on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
“I have been pleased with our overall team defense this year. Our man-to-man defense has been more fundamentally sound than in years past,” said Coach Kevin Brogioli. “We have also had several bench players step it up recently, which has been helpful, because we have had several players impacted by the flu.”
While pleased with the overall defense, Brogioli says he hopes to improve upon it even more before Wareham is up against some of the tougher teams in the area.
Brogioli said Anthony Abbott and Chris Ciacci have provided hustle and tough defense, and Mason Vasconcellos has brought “energy and timely outside shooting.”
“Last year, it was more me looking up to the older players,” said Vasconcellos, a junior, noting that he knows more is expected of him this year. “Last year, I was kind of picking up the pace where the starters left off.”
Senior Darien Fernandez, who recently passed the 1,000-point milestone, has been a major force on the team, according to Brogioli. Fernandez leads the team in assists and in scoring, with an average of 20 points per game, and says he thinks the team has been progressing over the course of the season.
“I think we’ve learned how to play together, [with] people knowing the plays and where they have to be,” said Fernandez. “I’m trying to be a floor leader, trying to get my teammates involved.”
While it’s been a great season so far, Brogioli says there is still a lot of basketball left to play, and there’s always work to be done.
“With half a season to go, any of the better teams could get hot, making them dangerous,” said Brogioli. “If we hope to make a tourney run, we must become more careful with the basketball and reduce our turnovers.”
Next up, Vikings will play Fairhaven at home on Friday, Jan. 25, at 6:30 p.m.