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Wed, Oct. 16

Vikings make it to state playoffs<br>

Outstanding efforts by Vikings players, such as Kevin Buchanan, No. 43, and Ryan Barnes, No. 23, shown above at right, helped cinch a state playoff seat for the Vikings who will enter as the number four team in the 2A North conference

According to Coach Reilly, the key in Wednesday’s game was defense. The Vikes played good defense and that slowed down the Mayer attack. Williams did a good job of mixing zone and a man to man defense. That kept Mayer on their heels all game. Twice the Vikes held the Wildcats to a single-digit quarter, and in the other two quarters they held them to 10 and 12 points. This illustrates the dominance on defense by the Vikings.

Slowing the game down also helped the Vikes' gain advantage in the post. Williams was really able to get on the boards in the slower game. Slowing the pace down also allowed Williams to eat some clock in the final quarter. The Vikes were able to run good offense and the Wildcats ran out of time to come back. Ryan Barnes was able to take advantage from the slow pace. He led the team in scoring with 19 points.

On Friday, Williams traveled to face the top seeded St. Johns Redskins. The game did not go as planned for the Vikes as they dropped the game 79-63. Williams had a hard time stopping the Redskins in all facets of the game. St. Johns is a balanced team that is hard to stop, they have great inside and outside players. Williams dug themselves a hole early and they spent the rest of the game trying to get out. By halftime Williams trailed St. Johns 46-27.

In the second half the Vikings played better. They played better defense against the Redskins, but it was too late to mount a comeback. The Vikings actually outscored St. Johns 22-13 in the final quarter.

The Vikings did not fare any better in Saturday’s contest. Williams dropped another playoff game 65-48 to Red Mesa. The Vikes must have used all their energy against St. Johns, because they did not put up much of a fight against Red Mesa. The Vikes were outscored in every quarter of the game.

This was a winnable game for the Vikings. Earlier this month the Vikings had gone up to Red Mesa and beat this conference foe. In that game, Williams played good defense and slowed down the pace. They held Red Mesa to 56 points. In this contest Red Mesa scored 65 points. Kevin Buchanan had another good offensive output netting 15 points to lead the Vikes.

The losses to St. Johns and Red Mesa cost Williams a good seed in the state playoffs. The Vikes will still go to the playoffs as the number four team in the 2A North. Williams will take on a number one team from another region.

The playoffs start today down in Phoenix. The games go all the way through Saturday. If Williams wins they will play Thursday. If the Vikings lose they will be done for the season.

The key to the Vikings moving on will be defense. In the playoffs points are at a premium, so every possession counts. The Vikings have to bring their defensive intensity if they want to move on. The old cliché of defense wins championships is true when it comes to the state playoffs.

For information on times and sites for the state tournament contact the Williams High School at 635-4474.

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