Amherst Vikings comeback falls short at holiday classic
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.”
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.