Through the first two weeks of the season, the Kingsburg boys basketball program seems to be headed in the right direction.
At the 67th annual Kingsburg Lions Club Classic on Dec. 6-9, which was hosted by the Vikings, the team finished the tourney at 2-2 and puts its season record at 6-4.
On Dec. 6, the Vikings first game of the tourney was a 62-26 blowout win over Orosi High School behind offensive performances by seniors Bryce Whiteside and Ryan Flippo with 11 and 10 points each.
Before the team’s contest against Orosi, Vikings’ head coach Todd Brown wasn’t sure Flippo, one of the squad’s co-captains, would play in the opening game of the tournament, but he ended up starting.
“He came out really aggressive,” Brown said. “He said he felt good, he came out and took care of business pretty well.”
Kingsburg followed up its performance with a 68-58 loss to Hanford West on Dec. 7, as the Vikings trailed throughout the entire game.
The Vikings came within one point with the Huskies leading 30-29 during the second quarter, but Hanford West went on a 10-2 run to capture a 39-31 halftime lead.
Despite the loss to Hanford West, Kingsburg had a great performance from co-captain Jeremy Ray, who had a game-high 21 points. The senior guard kept his team in the contest, but his performance wasn’t enough to overcome the Huskies, who had three players scoring in double-digits.
“[Ray's] been playing good for us all year,” Brown said. “He’s a great shooter, and as a senior, we need him to do things like that.”
Flippo had a great performance on Dec. 8 against Hoover, scoring 36 points, but his offensive output wouldn’t be enough, as Kingsburg went on to lose 70-56.
The next day, the Vikings defeated Coalinga 53-43 in their final game of the tourney behind a 24 point performance from Ray, who went 6-for-12 in three-point field goal attempts.
Throughout the tournament, Brown was impressed with Ray and Flippo.
“[Ray] and Ryan are always there on time with good leadership and set good examples for everybody else and hold people accountable,” he said. “They do a great job of being captains.”
Last season, the Vikings went 12-17 overall, and have already reached half of that mark through the first two weeks of the season. Also, Kingsburg went 2-6 at home last year, which is something Brown can’t empathize enough to his team this season.
“We want to take care of home court, our league is really tough,” Brown said. “Winning at home is something you have to do. We just want to take pride in front of all these people who come out and support us.”
Next up for the Vikings
The team heads to Tulare on Wednesday, Dec. 13, for the Tulare Holiday Classic Tournament hosted by Tulare Western High School that will occur Dec. 13-16. Kingsburg is scheduled to play Tulare Western, Atascadero and Granite Hills at the tourney.