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Valpo Rallies to Comeback from Double Digits in the 4th
In the final regular season game of the year, Valpo picked up a major momentum win on the road at Hammond Central 66-59 just ahead of sectionals.
The Wildcats of Hammond came out right from the start winning the first quarter 10-17. The Vikings chipped back during the second quarter winning the quarter 18-15 to go into halftime down 28-32. Hammond once again came out attacking to start the third and won the quarter 12-18 which gave them a 40-50 lead heading into the final quarter.
This is when your Vikings took over. Adler Hazlett started the quarter with a left three, followed by a Michael Flynn steal, which led to a Breece Walls layup off a great cut down the middle of the court and an assist from Derrick Brooks to cut the deficit to 45-50. Hammond scored on the next possession after a timeout, but Brooks answered with a layup.
Hammond knocked down 2 free throws and Flynn answered with a left wing 3 to make it 50-54. A Mason Jones block eventually lead to a Blaine Dalton wing 3 cutting it to a 1 point game. Connor McCall grabbed a rebound on the defensive end and with a quick transition up the court, Dalton attacked the rim getting fouled. He knocked down both free throws to give Valpo a 55-54 lead.
Valpo didn't look back after that. A Flynn midrange pull up, a McCall wide open layup, and eventually a Walls layup with bonus free throw sealed the deal for the Vikings to win the game.
Valpo as a team shot 10 of 11 from the free throw line for 90% on the night, held Hammond to .93 points per possession, and out rebounded the Wildcats 31-25. Dalton led the Vikings with 16 points and 5 rebounds, Walls added 15 points and 8 assists, Flynn had 13 points, Jones 12 points and 11 rebounds. As a team, Valpo shot 40% from 3 point range.
The Junior Varsity Boys Basketball team ended their season with a win over the Hammond Central Wolves Friday 42-40. The Vikings overcame the self-induced adversity of 28 turnovers by playing tough defense and getting some key rebounds in crunch time. Caden Crowell had 9 points and 6 rebounds and Michael Ridley had 6 points and 7 boards. Tyler VerSchure had 3 steals. The team finished 15-7 and 2nd in the DAC. Coach Lieske is very thankful for their tenacity and competitive drive all year long.
Next up is opening round of Sectionals, of which all games are taking place at Portage High School. Valpo will open up Sectionals with Merrillville on Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:00pm. Tickets are currently being sold at VHS in the Athletic Department (Door 10) for $6.00. Any tickets unsold will be available to purchase at the gate on Wednesday.
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