Herkimer routs Viking men

Kyle Garrett, Staff Writer

Saturday marked the second consecutive loss for Hudson Valley’s men’s basketball team, beaten 62-45 by SUNY Delhi last Wednesday and following that performance with a convincing 70-58 loss to Herkimer.

Herkimer took the early lead and never looked back, despite a spirited Viking defense and counterattacks by standouts Devonte Gleason, David Suski and Matt Walker that kept Hudson Valley on the scoreboard.

Though the Vikings never overtook Herkimer, there were points in the game where the differences in score were small..

Head coach Mike Long felt the team failed to take advantage of those moments.

“There were spurts where we got ourselves back in the game,” said Long. “We just didn’t get the rebounds we needed – we gave them too many second opportunities, and that’s what really hurt us.”

Despite these spurts of activity, Herkimer held the dominant standpoint throughout.

While the Viking game plan going in was to isolate Herkimer’s larger players and prevent them from doing much damage, they were unable to stop the opposing team from breaking through the defense and scoring whenever they wanted, even after Herkimer forward Enson Garcia was injured in a collision and taken out of play. The disparity in size and athleticism ended up too much to overcome, a fact Long himself admits.

“Herkimer is one of the top teams in the conference, [and] in the region,” said Long. “Coach Lee is a great guy; his kids played hard, [and] played the right way. I have no problems with that.”

Despite two losses in a row, Long claims morale in the locker room is good, citing academic performance and the team’s good bench conduct. He also remains optimistic about the team’s chance of making it into Regionals.

Although the team currently has a record of seven wins and nine losses, there are nine games remaining in the regular season and many of the scheduled opponents are teams Hudson Valley has already beaten or at least played against this season.

“I see us having the potential to at least go seven [wins] and two [losses]. Seven and two [adds up to] fourteen and eleven, and that should put us where we need to be to qualify for the sub-regional tournament,” said Long.

Looking into the future, Long is looking to have the team improve overall through experience and practice, dealing with flaws exposed in this game, be they slow shooting or holes in defense.

“We’ve just got to get better,” Long said. “I always tell [the team] it’s a journey, it’s not a sprint, and part of the journey is that you want to be better at the end of the year than you were at the beginning.”

The team’s next game is an away trip on Wednesday, Jan. 29 against Adirondack. The next home game is Saturday, Feb. 1 against Schenectady County, though this game might be cancelled due to a lack of players on Schenectady’s team.

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