On Thursday night, the Lady Vikings basketball team faced off with Cornerstone Christian Academy and came away with a tough loss 39-68.
The Vikings came out in the first quarter ready to play against the 15-2 Warriors. Sophomore Willo Singleton, Junior Michele Blackshear, and Senior Lia Campbell all contributed a field goal each, and Sophomore Delesia Hall hit a three point shot to kick start the offense. Cornerstone answered by forcing the Vikings into turnovers, which led to easy baskets for the Warriors. Cornerstone Junior Madison Cloonan scored 9 of her 14 points in the opening period to pace her team. At the end of the first the Vikings trailed 11-20.
Coach Daniel Smith made the adjustment to go into a 2-3 defense to shut down the penetration and easy layups for Cornerstone. The switch was effective as Cornerstone was only able to convert two, two-point baskets in the quarter. However, they were able to connect from three-point land as Senior Lauren Harris and Freshman Alex Rosson each hit triples. For the Vikings, Willo Singleton was able to find space in the Warrior defense and scored 8 of her team-high 10 points in the second quarter. After a three-pointer from Senior Iyana Smith, the Vikings went into halftime trailing by 10 points.
As the second half began, Cornerstone employed a half court trap on defense and repeatedly made VASJ turn the ball over. This led to many fast-break opportunities that the Warriors did not fail to convert. When the Vikings were able to break the pressure and find open players, they were unable to get the ball through the hoop. As the Vikings went cold from the field, the Warriors heated up by converting on 3 three-pointers in the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter, Cornerstone had doubled their lead to twenty points, 49-29.
The Vikings struggles offensively continued in the fourth quarter as they just could not find a rhythm. Freshman Morgan Parker and Senior Iyana Smith were able to connect on three-pointers, but the Vikings were only able to make one other field goal in the quarter. Despite the large deficit, the Vikings showed the same character and determination that they have shown all season by not giving up and continuing to play hard until the final buzzer sounds. Three more three-pointers in the quarter from Cornerstone gave them 9 total for the game and put the game away, ending 68-39.
The Vikings were led by Willo Singeton with 10 points, Michele Blackshear netted 8, and Iyana Smith chipped in with 7 of her own.
The Lady Vikings will play again on Saturday January 26th at NDCL. JV is scheduled to tip at 1:00pm with Varsity to follow at 2:30pm.