Two losses put Vikings playoff hopes in jeopardy

Pat Gareau

Editor-in-Chief

The Vikings lost both of their games last week by 15 plus points and now will have to win their final two games to secure a spot in the regional tournament.

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, they fell to Columbia-Greene 86-68 on the road and on Saturday, Feb. 14, they lost 75-56 to Mohawk Valley at home. Their record now stands at 14-12 on the season and the team is the ninth seed in the league. The top eight teams make the regional tournament.

Despite the loss on Saturday, head coach Mike Long was not disappointed in the team’s performance against the 20-6 Mohawk Valley Hawks. “I came out of this game and I don’t even feel like we lost because we had effort from everyone for all 40 minutes,” he said.

After trailing 24-43 at the half, the Vikings played dead even with the Hawks for the remainder of the game.

The Vikings had a difficult time handling the three point shooting of Tyquan Rolon, who scored 25 points for Mohawk Valley, including 12 points off three-pointers in the first half. Rolon averages over 20 points on the season.

Haseeb Kaurejo led the Vikings with 10 points against Mohawk Valley, Elijah Newsome added 9 and Jon Griggs scored 8.

While the Vikings were the underdog against Mohawk Valley, they were even with Columbia-Greene in the standings going into the game Wednesday.

The Vikings had won five of their previous six games going into Wednesday’s game.

The Vikings were not able to build on that momentum. The loss on the road dropped the Vikings in the standings below Columbia-Greene, who has beaten Hudson Valley twice this season.

Garrett Pitcher scored 21 points in the loss and Valdon Baptiste scored 12 in the Wednesday loss.

Making the tournament will be a challenge for Hudson Valley, with their final two games coming against teams that are ahead of them in the standings.

On Wednesday, Feb 18, the Vikings will take on the Fulton-Montgomery Raiders on the road. The Raiders are 14-11 on the season. In their first meeting this season, the Vikings lost 94-80 at home.

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