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Vikings eliminated in semifinals
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Vikings eliminated in semifinals

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Vikings basketball

Kingsburg’s Niko Cummings goes for the layup in the Viking’s loss against Immanuel.

After enjoying a magical ride in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the No. 12-ranked Kingsburg boys’ basketball team suffered a 70-38 semifinal loss against the No.1-ranked Immanuel Eagles.

Effort and will never seemed to be the problem for the No.12-ranked Vikings, but the Eagles were too quick, too strong, too skilled.

“We came out with the intention of battling them and we started slow. We went back to small habits and it’s hard to recover from that against a good team,” Kingsburg coach Todd Brown said.

Colin Slater, rated as a three-star point guard by ESPN, got the show started for the Eagles with a three-pointer on the opening possession. Slater added his second three-pointer later in the quarter and the Eagles took a 22-5 lead going into the second period.

Vikings guard Kingsley Togioka scored back-to-back baskets at the end of the second quarter, but that was the only bit of success for Kingsburg.

The Eagles went to halftime with a 20-point lead and they never let up — extending the lead to 30 in the third quarter.

乐动体育Slater and junior guard Darrin Person Jr. led the Eagles with 19 points apiece. “We have to get a lot stronger physically,” Brown said. “There’s just little things that we’re going to build on. We did a lot of things well this year — just build on fundamental stuff.”

乐动体育In what was his first year as the Vikings’ head coach, Brown said it was a learning season for himself and for the team.

乐动体育“It’s not really about the offense or anything, but it’s about the fundamentals and having the heart to play hard. [I’m] trying to learn better ways to teach that,” Brown said.

The Vikings finished the season with a 12-17, 5-5 record in the regular season. In the playoffs, the Vikings upset No. 5 Kerman, then No. 4 Madera South.

“We have a good core coming back, good JV team. We’ll build on it and try to be in the same situation and win this game next year,” Brown said.

乐动体育The No.3-ranked Kingsburg girls basketball team also saw their own season end in the semifinals with a 55-50 loss against No. 2 Orosi.

The Vikings had a 44-36 lead at the end of the third quarter. Orosi, however, tied the game with 2:20 left in the game, then took the lead for good with under two minutes to go.

“They put on a full-court press on us and we didn’t handle it very well. That got them back in the game,” Kingsburg girls’ coach Mark Willis said.

The girls reached the semifinals after beating No. 14 Madera South and No. 11 Kerman. In the regular season, the Vikings (23-8, 7-3) finished third in the Central Sequoia League.

“There’s much more work in the off-season,” Willis said. “These girls have to get stronger. They have to work on their personal deficiencies. For example, they have to learn to dribble with their left hand better. They have to look at the 31 games we played and learn from the experiences so we don’t make the same mistakes again.”

If you would like to reach this reporter contact tkassahun@selmaenterprise.com

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