KINGSBURG - The Kingsburg Vikings nearly shutout Central Valley Christian in the fourth quarter enroute to defeating the Cavaliers 49-27 in Central Sequoia League action on Jan. 30.
It was the seventh-straight win for the Vikings, who had two double-digit scorers in Ally Cotton (a team-high 16 points) and Maddy Reed (11 points) against CVC.
“I’m proud of her, she had a great game today,” Reed said about Cotton. “She used her post moves well.”
Cotton was the go-to player in the second half scoring 10 of her 16 points in the third and fourth quarters. Reed wouldn’t play for majority of the second half due to foul trouble.
“With Maddy out, I was the only big in,” Cotton said. “So I was kind of the big target. So they just focused on getting it in there.”
With Reed being a senior, Kingsburg head coach Kristi Bravo said Cotton’s scoring night was an indication of what she expects to see from the junior next year.
“With her [Cotton] only being a junior and with losing Reed as a big that can dribble, it’s nice to know that she’ll be able to fill in pretty good as far as down low and rebounding,” Bravo said. “She brings a lot to our group.”
In the first quarter, the Vikings started with a 9-0 run before allowing CVC’s first points of the game. Kingsburg would end up holding the Cavaliers to single-digit points, leading CVC 18-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The Vikings would put on a similar dominant defensive performance in the second quarter. Kingsburg held the Cavaliers to nine points in the quarter and went into halftime with a 31-15 lead.
Coming out of halftime, the Vikings struggled to score points and were outscored 10-6 by CVC in the third quarter. Kingsburg’s struggles led to a 12-point 37-25 lead, which would be the closest margin of the game.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Bravo simply told the girls to “pick it up” against a struggling CVC team, who were looking for its second league win of the season.
“It was just getting too close,” Bravo said. “So I just telling them to play our game with fastbreaks and kind of stick back to what we’re originally doing.”
The fourth quarter would end up being the Vikings most dominant quarter, holding CVC scoreless until the final 10 seconds of the game.
With the playoffs approaching, Reed said those third quarter struggles can’t continue if they want to play in Selland Arena for the Division IV championship.
“We just need to work harder at practice and just calm down more,” Reed said. “Because if we put in some people, who aren’t as experience, they get antsy with the ball. So we just need them to calm down and finished their easy shots.”
Two days after defeating CVC, the Vikings won its eighth-straight game with a 57-47 victory over Exeter. Reed scored 25 points and Cotton had 10 against the Monarchs.
Currently, Kingsburg is 21-5 overall and 11-0 in CSL play.
Heading into the game against Selma on Feb. 5, the Vikings clinched at least a share of the CSL championship. It’s Kingsburg first CSL championship since the 2009-10 season. The Vikings needed a win over the Bears to earn sole possession of the CSL title.
Selma came into the rivalry matchup at 24-3 overall and 10-1 in league play. The Bears needed a win to clinch a co-championship.
Before the Feb. 5 game, Cotton and Reed expected the rivalry game to be a battle.
“We’re going to have to fight really hard again,” Cotton said.
“It feels good that it comes down to senior night if we win,” Reed said. “League champions or co-champions, I’m just so proud of our team that we even got this far.”
The Vikings’ playoff seed will be posted on the on CIF Central Section website on Feb. 9. According to Maxpreps, Kingsburg is ranked No. 5 in the Central Section Division IV rankings. The Vikings are one of five teams in the division that is undefeated in its league.
The first round of the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs will be played on Feb. 12.