Vikings 5-game win streak snapped by Saintes

In the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game with the AHSTW Vikings trailing by three points, Senior Saint Ella Klusman came down court and made back-to-back 3-point shots putting her team up nine points en route to an eventual 41-31 victory, snapping the Vikings 5-game win streak.

“We put together a good couple of weeks,” said Viking Head Coach Jason McCall. “Last week we had four games in five days. We didn’t shoot the ball well, and we still found a way to come away with wins.”

Senior Viking Saydi Paulsen opened scoring with a shot from 3-point range, but Senior Saint Lily Krohn answered back with a 3-pointer to tie the game. Following that, the Vikings took command of the game going on a 10-4 run to close out the quarter with two mid-range shots, and a 3-pointer from Senior Viking Delaney Goshorn making it a 13-7 lead heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter started off quiet as nobody was able to score until 2+ minutes in when Klusman scored the first bucket, followed by a 3-pointer to put the Saintes down by one, forcing a timeout from McCall.

When play resumed, the Vikings went on a 6-0 run to close out the half with multiple Vikings contributing to the scoring including Seniors Rylie Knop, Goshorn, and Graycen Partlow.

“They did it themselves,” McCall said. “You come out and play a state ranked team that is 15-1, and their only loss was to another really good team. We kind of had an underdog mentality. We don’t have anything to lose. Let’s go out there and give them their best shot and find a way to take away some of their strengths and force them to beat us other ways. I think that was by far the best first half of basketball these girls have played all year.”

Senior Viking Ella Langer scored the first basket of the third quarter on a free throw, followed by Klusman making another 3-pointer, but Paulsen answered back with a 3-pointer making it a 6-point game.

McCall used a timeout, but afterwards, the Saintes found a rhythm knocking down shots consistently, with back-to-back 3-pointers from Freshman Maura Ryan coming back to tie the game at 25 at the end of the quarter.

The Saintes dominated the fourth quarter continuing to build momentum from their third quarter run as they scored the first three baskets of the quarter going up by nine points. Sophomore Viking Makenna Paulsen put a stop to their run with a mid-range shot, cutting the Saintes lead to seven.

Goshorn knocked down a couple more shots, but the Vikings couldn’t catch back up to the Saintes, snapping their win streak and moving to 10-6 on the season.

The Vikings will return to action Thursday on the road at 6 p.m. taking on the 9-8 Riverside Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are led by Sydney Somers, averaging seven points and 3.8 rebounds, along with Junior Elly Henderson, averaging 1.7 assists.

“We have to look at every team as if they’re a top five ranked team in the state,” McCall said. “Hopefully we can get a little deeper into the bench.”



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