Lady Vikings win close Herkimer bout

Kyle Garrett, Staff Writer

The women’s basketball team defeated Herkimer 69-65 on Saturday, avenging a defeat by the same team earlier in the season.

The Vikings were led from the beginning by players like freshman guard My’Asia Alston. While center Shikera Lawson went down with a sprained ankle early in the first period, the remaining players were able to keep Herkimer scoreless for nearly five minutes before a three-pointer from Alyssa Craig put them back in the running.

While Herkimer began scoring more in the first half they never managed to build enough momentum to dislodge Hudson Valley from the lead they had built up, due to teamwork and coordination among the Vikings and the defensive efforts of forwards like Samantha Tomeck and Genniese Jones.

While the Vikings kept Herkimer from scoring too much, they continued to land shots of their own, and at the period’s five-minute mark the score stabilized at 36-15, where it remained until near the end until a Viking free throw and a layup by Herkimer center Kaylyn Dickerson changed it to 37-17.

Herkimer’s offense picked up in the second half, with players such as Samantha Randio and Emily Rexford consistently scoring enough to greatly reduce the point difference, and a flagging Viking defense that began to let more plays slip through as the game went on. Aggressive play continued, with each team racking up ten fouls.

The Viking defense tightened up, and at the end of the game Herkimer just wasn’t able to break through, giving the Hudson Valley women a narrow four-point victory.

To head coach Kathleen Russell, the close victory was the result of fatigue among the players.

“We had a really strong first half, and I think we had a couple letdowns in the second half,” said Russell.

“They hit a couple big shots, which allowed them to get back in the game,” said Russell. “I think that’s how it happens sometimes – you get tired and you make mistake. That’s something we’ll get back to the drawing board and work on.”

Despite the flagging second-half performance, Russell was pleased to have avenged Herkimer’s 58-39 defeat of Hudson Valley earlier in the season.

“We didn’t play them very well the first time, so we pretty much were kind of like, ‘all bets are off, let’s go out and get this one,’” said Russell.

According to Russell, the team is much sharper than they used to be, and off-court concerns brought on by the start of the semester have helped the players focus.

“Sometimes, having so much time off, [you can] get a little lax, and I think they need structure,” said Russell.

Coming off two wins in a row, including a 61-23 win over SUNY Delhi, Viking morale is high going into Wednesday’s away game at Adirondack.

Their next home game will be on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 1:00 p.m. where they will face Schenectady County.

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