Following the narrow defeat against SUNY Orange on Tuesday night, the Vikings were looking for an encouraging victory to advance towards the end of the season. They captured just that.
Hudson Valley (16-8) faced off against Clinton, Wednesday night, in a blowout victory. The first half was epitomized by 14 post points dispensed by number 32 Ngalukondi. The play embodied hard fought offensive and defensive rebounds, and second chance points.
The real story was in the second half. After posting just 2 points in the first, John Palmer contributed 30 points in the second, converting on 7 3-point shots. Palmer’s fire power seemed to be infectious giving the team commanding confidence moving forward. It was especially influential on forward Diamond Corker adding 18 points to Palmers overall 32 to give the Vikings a 108-81 blowout victory.
In terms of moving forward, coach Mike Long had some opinions on improvements. “We need to get better at taking care of the basketball, making better decisions…playing more consistent defense and playing 40 minutes. We only have 5 games left, if we can make a run here…we go to North Country on Saturday and they’re very good, that’s going to make it tough”.
Saturday came and the Vikings were up to the challenge. North Country was no pushover although. The team had their fair share of blowout victories including a 66 point win over Paul Smith’s College. This wasn’t the case against Hudson Valley though.
The game was back and forth nearly the whole contest, with the teams trading blows and exchanging runs in a seesaw affair all the way up until the end. With about three minutes left, NCCC took a one point lead but by the last minute found themselves suddenly down by three.
After the game, Jordan Nelson said it was “a step up in intensity” and the team “bending as opposed to breaking” that lead the team to the final victory. It was also Nelson who hit the final two free throws to give them a five point advantage which sealed the deal. The final score was 84-79, a meeting a bit too close for comfort.
The team hosts North Country on Monday and hopes to come out with yet another victory. If this dominance continues this team could find themselves with an outstanding 22-8 record and a trip to regionals.