Lady Vikings look to improve as season progresses

Lady+Vikings+look+to+improve+as+season+progresses

Josh White

The Lady Vikings huddle up to discuss the game plan for the second half of its game against MacArthur on Jan. 11. The Lady Vikings’ game plan was to better its defense, and it paid off, as the team won the game.

Kyle Cohen, Staff Writer

On Jan. 11, the girls varsity basketball team faced the MacArthur Generals. After the 1st quarter, the Vikings jumped out to an 11-8 lead.  Leading the scoring for the quarter was senior Maddie Omeltchenko.

The staunch Lady Vikings’ defense held MacArthur to a mere three points in the second quarter, while posting 10 points of their own to end the half with a 21-11 lead.

The MacArthur Generals then started the second half with a 13-6 run.  By the end of the 3rd, the Lady Vikings lead had dwindled to a mere three points at 27-24.

After a high scoring fourth quarter, the Lady Vikings came up on top, winning the game 43-40.

Senior captain Emma Nadel made two free throws down the stretch with 6 seconds remaining to help ice the game.

Omeltchenko posted her first career double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lady Vikings improved to a conference record of 2-3, along with an overall record of 5-5.

Led by coaches Mr. Dennis Trottier and Ms. Kristina Shackel-Wood, they have had an up-and-down season thus far.  After winning their first two games, they proceeded to lose two, win two, and finally lose three and win one.

“The team fought back with hard work, and sticking to the game plan,” said coach Shakel-Wood.

Wins have come over Wheatley, Clark, Mineola, East Meadow and MacArthur, and losses have come at the hands of Friends Academy, Mepham, Hicksville, Valley Stream Central, and Baldwin.

Their 2-3 conference record places them in seventh in the conference standings.

“The seniors and captains just set the bar for our team. They are good at always pulling through for us and being real leaders,” said junior Gabby Friedman.

The team captains are  Nadel and senior Megan Murphy.

“They are leaders on and off the court, and well respected by their teammates. They have set good examples for the team, along with keeping a positive attitude, even in tough times,” said coach Shackel-Wood.

Both of the captains have experience on the team, and have previously played for a couple of years under the coaching staff.

There are many things that teams do to help get through a stretch such as the three game skid that the Lady Vikings experienced before the MacArthur game.

The coaches and leaders of the team contribute by keeping its confidence up and pushing harder every practice and game.

“We try not to let it get to us and use the close losses as motivation to work harder and play better,” said Friedman.

The fact that the Lady Vikings lost three crucial games in a row, but were able to come back and win a very close game with MacArthur, can speak volumes about the team and its resiliency.

“We take it day by day. Win or lose we know that our team is our family. Each time we step on the court we expect to grow and get better,” said junior Anna Catrone.

After the losing streak, it was vital for the Lady Vikings to pull out a win in a close game against conference rival MacArthur.  At 2-3, there is still a chance to compete for a playoff spot.

With upcoming games against Plainview, East Meadow, and Hicksville, the team is primed to make a playoff run.

“We want to push the ball up the court, so daily conditioning is critical. We are also concentrating on our free throws; those can really make or break the outcome of a game,” said coach Shackel-Wood.

Often times, basketball teams become a one-person show. Teams have their one really good player that they give the ball to, and sometimes they rarely pass.  Teammates often begin to resent each other.  They do not truly play as a team.

However, that is not the case with the Lady Vikings.  The team plays and wins together, always sharing the ball.

“When we win it’s because we all play together as a team, not because of one single person.  We all love to share the ball and when everybody is involved we play well and have fun,” said Friedman.

The Lady Vikings previously beat East Meadow and their last game against Hicksville was competitive, so history dictates that their next two games are winnable.

If the girls escape this stretch with three straight wins, the Lady Vikings could potentially stand at a record of 5-3 in the conference, with a greater chance of a playoff berth.

All stats are as of Monday, Jan. 20.