By Ken DeLaat
Photos by Catalpa Photography
The Vikings knew the task ahead would be formidable. After a week of battling through 3 tough teams to repeat as District Champs their first round opponent would be perennial powerhouse South Christian, the OK Gold titleholder who spent the previous week dismantling their District with 159 points in their two games.
The Sailors possess speed and height amd most of all they have Mariel Bruxvoort their senior all-everything player who seems to be everywhere on the court. Bruxvoort scored 12 of the 14 first quarter points SC put up. Meanwhile the Vikes were struggling to score. Limited to one field goal by Tricia Slavens and a trio of free throws they would need to step it up to keep pace with the explosive Sailor squad.
In the second Bruxvoort continued to score and began sharing the wealth as SC followed a bucket by TC’s Errin Kamp with a 13-0 run that produced a 20 point margin.
Lesser teams might have cashed it in at this point but these young women from Tri County have no quit in them. Emma Overbeek stepped up to pop a three, Julia Bice nailed a pair from the line as did Dayoni Mahlich and just before the half Alicia Bowen scorched a triple. The Vikings had trimmed the lead to 14 as they went to intermission.
THe Sailors came out of the locker room on fire going on a 9-0 run to open the second half and burying the Vikes with a 23 point edge.
Once again it was Overbeek who stopped the bleeding by banging one in from distance. Grace Miller followed with another three and Bowen scored off a stop and split from the line as TC went on their own 9-0 run. The Sailors regrouped and pushed the lead to 24 eventually winning the contest but the Vikings did not go down without a fight. Slavens, Miller and Jessica Thompson battled in the paint all night and Coach Chris Overbeek kept sending in fresh troops from his long bench to try and contain Bruxvoort.
The Viking team showed a lot of moxie Tuesday and none more than Emma Overbeek who never stopped pushing and never stopped believing.
Coach (and Emma’s Dad) Chris Overbeek has a lot to be proud of in this team. They posted 15 victories on the season including an 8 game winning streak, they secured a second straight District crown, …... and they never cashed it in.
TC played the final minutes of their final game as if it were a tie game and not a 20 point deficit and when the final buzzer sounded there might have been disappointment in the result but it would be tough to find anything disappointing about this team.
Well done Vikings.