On Monday night, the Lady Vikings basketball team traveled to Padua to face the Lady Bruins and came home with a close loss of 61-50.
The Lady Vikings came out clicking on offense, startling the Bruins by playing fast and effective offense. Senior Kenya Ball opened the scoring for VASJ, starting the quarter off with five points in the first minute of the game. Freshman Amya Parker scored quickly on a hard drive and senior Iyana Smith hit a big three to keep the Viking offense rolling. The Bruins battled back though, as Sotak countered with four quick points along with Pillin hitting a three-point shot and a field goal. At the end of the first quarter, the Vikings trailed 11-10.
The back-and-forth action continued in the second quarter as Ball continued to lead the way by relentlessly driving hard to the basket and drawing fouls. Ball converted on three free-throw attempts in the quarter. Junior Michele Blackshear hit two foul shots and added a field goal in the quarter and Iyana Smith continued her hot shooting by adding two field goals of her own. Freshman Morgan Parker came into the game halfway through the second quarter and hit a big three-point shot to contribute to her team’s 16 points in the quarter. But three-point shooters Conroy and LaGuardia came alive for the Bruins and hit two threes each to match the scoring pace of the Vikings. Heading into halftime after a high-scoring second quarter, VASJ trailed 32-26.
After halftime, sophomore Willo Singleton got into the scoring action with two field goals in the quarter. Smith hit another three and Blackshear continuously attacked the basket. However, the Bruins hot shooting from the second quarter carried over as Conroy, Sotak, and LaGuardia all hit three-point shots in the quarter. Their accuracy from deep helped Padua extend their lead to double digits going into the final frame 36-49.
With their backs against the wall, the Lady Vikings dug in defensively to get stops in order to try and fight back into the game. Sophomore Delesia Hall was an important part of the defensive effort in the quarter by limiting scoring opportunities for one of Padua’s leading scorers, Conroy. Ball, Blackshear, Smith, and Singleton all scored in the fourth quarter and were able to cut into the Padua lead. VASJ won the fourth quarter 14-11, but fell short as the final buzzer sounded, 50-61.
The Lady Vikings return to the Viking Village on Thursday January 31, as they host Lake Catholic. JV will start at 5:30 p.m. and Varsity at 7 p.m.