Exhaustion, Lack Of Court Time Shows In Vale’s Loss To New Plymouth

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NEW PLYMOUTH – A run for a state football title for Vale is showing as the Vale boys basketball team, leading at the half, fell in their opening game to New Plymouth, 40-49.

“We really started well, but as the game went on the arms dropped on defense and the shots stopped falling,” said Viking coach Colby Shira.

Off an offensive rebound, the Viks’ first points were put in by senior Tanner Steele at the 5-minute mark. Vale built on the lead, ending the first quarter with a 13-4 margin.

The Pilgrims started to slowly eat into the lead during the second quarter and at the half, Vale led by the slimmest of points, 23-22.

“The third quarter was just a killer for us,” said Shira. “You could tell the team was tired defensively and the shots quit going in.”

New Plymouth took their first lead of the game at the 31-30 mark in the third, outscoring Vale 11 to 7 and the Pilgrims started the final quarter with a 33-30 lead. The Vikings were able to cut the margin to two points in the fourth off two 3-pointers by Luke McGourty, but problems at the free throw line doomed the Vale comeback. For the game, the Vikings shot 8-for-15 from the line.

“I was happy with our rebounding the entire game,” said Shira. “We are playing kids with just a few practices due to the football run this year. We have some things to work on, but it is coming together.”

Steele ended the game with 11 points to lead Vale. Diesel Johnson added eight points and McGourty’s late baskets gave him six points along with John Wolfe also putting in six points.

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