Petersburg Boys Basketball appeared to have the knock out punch with a 25-9 second period swing setting a 35-15 halftime advantage, but the Cougars heartbeat kept ticking with a valiant effort trying to push back with a 22-7 fourth period upper-cut only to collapse to the Vikings stronghold 53-48 in Baker last Tuesday.
“Tonight honestly we came out very hot. We were very aggressive early and it worked out very well for us. We shot the ball well and attacked well. We did a lot of good things in the first half,” Petersburg Boys Basketball coach Todd Heare remarked.
“In the second half we came out and lost our edge. We were trying to protect our lead, instead of playing like we had it. We couldn’t get going again and it gave East Hardy confidence in the second half. They started to really come after us, they pressed us and did a lot of things right. East Hardy is a very good team and definitely picked it up in the second half making it a huge game. There was good effort by both teams. I was pleased with our effort and it is always a wonderful time when we come over here to play East Hardy.”
East Hardy (6-10) won the first contest in Vikings territory at the beginning of the year, but this time Petersburg (4-14) was on fire from the perimeter and managed just enough defense to close out the game.
The first quarter was a close battle with the Vikings edging out East Hardy 10-9 as Matt VanMeter netted five points in that frame for Petersburg and the Cougars were paced by Christian Dove’s five markers.
It was a wake-up call in the second period as the Vikings unleashed the kraken (a legendary cephalopod-like sea monster of gigantic size in Scandinavian folklore) or in this case a monstrous attack from the perimeter firing five 3-pointers en route to a 25-6 run.
Petersburg’s Dalton Lough netted nine points from the 3-point territory and Matt VanMeter added six more points from the top of the key enabling the Vikings to rule the Baker seas.
East Hardy struggled to cover the perimeter and couldn’t get the ball to drop in their own net as Brayden Ritchie corralled just four points and Adam Baker pitched in one field goal for the Cougars in the second period.
“[Halftime speech] We talked about confidence and how we didn’t have any in the first half. In order to not get blown off the floor in the second half, we needed to be tougher all the way around,” East Hardy Boys Basketball coach Chris Hahn commented.
“Petersburg out-hustled us tonight. I’m not used to that, my teams are always hustlers. If we do anything well, it is that we hustled. Tonight we were in third gear and just wouldn’t kick it. Finally our effort was better in the second half, but our execution really didn’t start until late. It was five minutes to go and we finally started running what we were trying to run since the first quarter. You can’t wait that long to punch the