After a six-game winning streak, the Vikings turned around their seemingly doomed season and have qualified for the CIF playoffs. Starting 0-4, the boys’ basketball team ended at 6-4, tied for second place in Ocean League.
On Senior Night, the Vikings were able to edge out a win against last place Hawthorne (75-64) that was ultimately their ticket to a playoff spot.
“We came together at the right time,” junior Jordan Walker said. “We started fighting for each other during the mid-way point of our league season and played as one instead of as individuals. We’re all glad we got back on the right track before it was too late.”
The season, although long and eventful, is not over yet. Because of their low seed, the Vikings play against 18-9 Upland Highlanders (Scots) on their home court. Regrettably, The Samohi sent to press before the end of the game — check the website for updates.
“We understand that we’re labeled as underdogs,” senior Jerry Shevlin said. “We are highly underestimated coming into this game, but that’s what fuels us the most. We have a lot of confidence right now so that should help us against Upland.”
While making playoffs after their disappointing start is an achievement in and of itself, the Vikings feel that their season still has life.
“The way we’ve been able to turn our season around has been amazing,” senior captain Holden Foshag said. “This isn’t the time to be pleased with where we’re at. As a leader it’s my job to let my teammates know that we have a chance to go further beyond everyone’s expectations.”
Though the Vikings didn’t start out the way they planned, they certainly made up for their disappointment by winning six of their last seven games. Coach James Hecht believes that his team showed maturity and discipline by persevering through their mistakes.
“The reason why we struggled in the beginning of the season was because of our youth and inexperience,” Hecht said. “We lacked confidence but were able to regain it by sticking together and playing more as a unit. I credit my players for staying focus and staying positive during our lowest point.”