Amherst Vik­ings come­back falls short at hol­i­day clas­sic

The Amherst News - - SPORTS - HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL BY DAVE MATHIESON

Down 43-26 at the half, the Amherst Re­gional High School Vik­ings se­nior boys nearly bounced back, but fell short 74-68 to Three Oaks Se­nior High Ax­e­men at the 2018 Vik­ings Christ­mas Clas­sic cham­pi­onship game at ARHS.

“Even though Three Oaks started out hot, we never pan­icked, and that’s im­por­tant with a re­ally young team like we have,” said Vik­ings coach Thomas Sk­abar af­ter the loss. “It can be easy for them to lose their head when things don’t go well, but they re­ally stuck with it and came out af­ter half-time ready to make this a fight.”

Two, fourth-quar­ter, three-point­ers from Frank Ba­con had the crowd jump­ing out of their seats.

“We got within three points late in the game,” said Sk­abar. “It was nice to get the crowd in­volved and give them a good per­for­mance.”

Caleb van Vulpen led the Vik­ings with 21 points, fol­lowed by Ba­con with 16, Luke Legere with 10, Brody MacDon­ald and Brady Crowe with six points each, Josh Har­nish with five, and Jag­ger Van­dewiel with three points. Sk­abar is proud of the way his team per­formed against TOSH.

“Three Oaks is a very good team. They’re very ag­gres­sive and phys­i­cal and tal­ented. They’re one of the bet­ter teams we see all year.”

Com­ing close to beat­ing the Ax­e­men is a good sign for things to come.

“We knew that com­ing into the sea­son with a new and young team that we were go­ing to take our lumps and it was go­ing to be a learn­ing curve,” said Sk­abar. “I think games like this show we’re mak­ing good progress and guys are start­ing to fig­ure out what it means to play at this level.”

Sk­abar thanked many peo­ple for an­other suc­cess­ful Christ­mas Clas­sic tour­na­ment at ARHS.

“Amherst Home Hard­ware and Com­pass Min­er­als sup­port our team and this tour­na­ment year af­ter year, so a big thank you goes out to them,” said Sk­abar. “And I thank all the par­ents and all the fam­ily mem­bers and friends who come to­gether to make this pos­si­ble. It’s a tra­di­tion for us and one we’re very proud of.”

DAVE MATHIESON – AMHERST NEWS

The ARHS Vik­ings se­nior boys basketball team gath­ered for a photo fol­low­ing the Vik­ings Christ­mas Clas­sic cham­pi­onship game at ARHS. Front, from left, Ben Legere, Kegan Chitty, Frank Ba­con, head coach Thomas Sk­abar, Jag­ger Van­dewiel, Josh Har­nish and Caleb Van Vulpen. Back, coach Ryan Thomp­son, Luke Legere, Conor Bar­rett, Bren­nan Van Vulpen, Brody Macdon­ald, Brady Crowe, Brae­den Tay­lor, and coaches Chris McCarthy and Justin Mil­ner.

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