|Josh Griffiths pulls down a rebound past two Waterford defenders in a game hosted earlier this year at East Carbon High. Griffiths scored eight points against Wasatch Academy earlier this week as the Vikings round out their season schedule.|
It has been a long and rough season for the East Carbon Vikings basketball team. With less than a dozen kids on the squad, each team member has been faced with the difficult task of playing strong each and everytime they take to the hardwood floor.
Although the team has been plagued with several losses, overall, the team has improved and has had a fun time competing. After all, isn't that what sports is all about.
This past Monday, the Vikings took to their homecourt to compete against the number one ranked Region 1 team, the Wasatch Academy Tigers.
The Vikes knew this would be a tough game, but they came out confident and ready for action.
East Carbon played strong throughout most of the first half. They played good against the Tigers press and the Vikings defensive efforts were outstanding. That is until the final two and a half minutes of the second quarter rolled around.
At this point, the Vikings began to lose their grasp. East Carbon was only six points behind the Wasatch Academy team when the Tigers litteraly began to ran away with the ball game.
The Tigers managed to score 12 unanswered points in less than three minutes. This brought the Tigers ahead of the Vikings by 18 points at the half.
"The players were all a little bit disappointed in the locker room. I think this was the turning point in the ball game when we just kind of gave up on things," explained Viking coach, Jeff Cisneros.
As the competition resumed, the Vikings continued to struggle throughout the second half.
"I think they did their best to get through the ball game. Our scoring was consistant through the ball game, but we just couldn't keep up with Wasatch Academy," Cisneros continued.
By the time the four quarters were over with, the Vikings had lost yet another season game. The final talley ended at 79-45 in favor of the Tigers.
"I have to applaud this team. They have played hard all year and have showed improvements. It is difficult on each of the players who have to play so many minutes each game because we just don't have the numbers on the bench," stated Cisnersos.
Austin Preston lead the Vikings in the ball game with 17 points. Tony McFarland followed with 12 points while Josh Griffiths finished with eight points and Jarod Kennedy and Andy Farlaino each scored four against the Tigers.
The game Monday drops the Vikings record to 1-9 for the season and 1-15 overall.
In order to be included in the state tourney which is drawing near, the Vikings will have to defeat Meridian and Wendover this week. Only one loss will drop the Vikings out of the playoffs this year.
"These kids have played strong all year, but I think they're tired at this point. It's hard to keep up with other teams that have twice the numbers as ours," Cisnerso explained.
The Vikings were scheduled to compete in their final home game of the year Wednesday night. Cisneros hoped to have a good showing during the game so that the three seniors would have an appropriate farewell.
The final game of the year is set for Friday as the Vikings travel to Wendover.
"I think what we are going to do during the offseason is try and get these kids some exposure and practice. If we can get the kids who are interested in competing next year to some summer camps, I feel we will gain valuable experience which will prepare us for next year," commented Cisneros.
Even though the road has been long and windy, the members of the Viking ball club would all agree, it was worth the hard work to have so much fun competing in the sport of basketball.