Vikings earn Greenfield’s respect

Vikings earn Greenfield’s respect

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:00 pm

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Press Sports
Sometimes, as Pete Angelos humbly said afterward, “you just have to tip your hat” to the other team.
The Greenfield coach was speaking metaphorically and with great respect of the impressive clinic put on by Humboldt in the Vikings’ 68-42 victory over the Yellowjackets Monday night that ended G’field’s season in the Region 7A Tournament semifinals.
“When they bring their A-Game, they have the look of a state championship team,” Angelos said of H’boldt, which dominated the contest with its widely-noted athleticism and length on both ends of the floor.
“We tried everything we had against them defensively. It so hard to play them when you’re behind, too, because they put so much pressure on you. We just didn’t have any answers for them.”
The loss ended Greenfield’s season with a 16-13 record, but with three achieved goals set before the season, according to its coach.
“We wanted to have a winning record, we wanted to host a district tournament game, and we wanted to win a game in the regional tournament,” Angelos said, reeling off the Yellowjackets’ list of noteworthy accomplishments.
“I’m proud of these kids, and especially these seniors.”
Four players suited up for the final time in a GHS basketball jersey including Heath Crouse, Graham Perkins, Alex Roberts and Hunter Dixon.
Having beaten the heavily-favored Vikings during the season, G’field obviously had the full focus of Humboldt in Monday’s third meeting of the year.
The scrappy ’Jackets held their own for the first 41⁄2 minutes  before a run of 12 unanswered H’boldt points late in the first quarter put the Vikes out in front for good after Greenfield had taken its last lead at 11-9 on a Hunter Crouse bucket at the 3:30 mark.
CC Moody made a trio of 3-pointers and scored 13 markers in all in that opening frame that ended with a Zac Grooms bucket that cut the difference to 21-13.
Back-to-back hoops from Heath Crouse trimmed what once was a 13-point deficit to 28-19 a little less than three minutes before halftime, but Greenfield simply found keeping up with the quickness of the Vikings too tough a chore in their man defense.
H’boldt scored eight of the final 11 points of the first half to open their largest lead of the first two periods — 36-22 at halftime after Desonta Bradford tallied just before the horn.
The Vikings turned to bruising Tevin Bryson in the second half and the hulking 6-5 center who is headed to Arkansas State on a football scholarship, both literally and figuratively threw his weight around inside.
Bryson had nine of his team’s 16 points in the third quarter, the last of those markers giving his team a 52-29 lead at the period’s end. Bryson then tallied twice more early in the final eight minutes to account for the largest mark of the night — 56-29— with 5:30 to play.
Heath Crouse had 17 points — all over the first three quarters — to top the G’field score sheet. Tony Robinson finished with 11, all but two in the final stanza.
Moody’s 17 markers matched Crouse for game-honors and led a quartet of double-figure scores for the Vikings (21-10), who’ll play Lake County (21-9) for the regional championship on Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Falcons beat Union City 53-44 Monday night in the tourney’s second semifinal.
Published in The WCP 2.28.12

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