Preps

Tuesday, Feb 18 2014 11:05 PM

Vikings rally past Wolf Pack for title

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    West plays Ridgeview Monday night.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    West High's Malik Washington shoots over the outstretched arms of Ridgeview's Pardeep Dhand.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Ridgeview's Pardeep Dhand shoots for two against West High.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    West's Aris Banks goes in for a lay up between Ridgeview's Aaron Charles, left, and Pardeep Dhand.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    It's one-on-one on the baseline with Ridgeview's Marcus Bruley and West's Malik Washington.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    West High guard Jonah Broom looks to pass after driving down court against Ridgeview.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Ridgeview forward Shaquan Baines signals for a timeout after a mad scramble for a loose ball with West High's Kenny Rogers, right, and Aris Banks, left.

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  8. 8 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    With elbows out, Ridgeview captain Pardeep Dhand looks to pass as West's Isiah Mims, with arms outstretched, looks to block.

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  9. 9 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Aaron Charles of Ridgeview scrambles for a loose ball over West High's Malik Washington in first half action at the Viking gym. Kenny Rogers also of West stands behind.

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  10. 10 of 14

    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Ridgeview's Daylan Warren drives in for a lay up past West High's Isiah Mims in the Viking gym.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Ridgeview's Richard Bivens soars past Isiah Mims for two points in the Viking gym.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Ridgeview forward Richard Bivens looses the handle on the ball when he was fouled going for a shot.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Jordan Roberts of Ridgeview looks for an opening as he peeks past a Viking defender.

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    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Viking guard Elray Coleman gets a step on Ridgeview defender Isaiah Martin as he drives in the basket in the third quarter.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Just when it looked like the South Yosemite League boys basketball race would be thrown into late chaos, West High did what it had done all year.

The Vikings used a late run to beat Ridgeview 67-57 at home Tuesday and clinch the school's first league title since 1999.

"I'm proud of these kids," Vikings coach Tye Hammond said. "They've displayed toughness and character all year. There's been no lead we haven't been able to overcome and make it a close game. We fight and fight the whole way."

According to that script, Ridgeview (12-12, 4-3 SYL) led for much of the first three quarters Tuesday. The game was tied 43-43 headed to the fourth quarter, but Andre Brown hit a 3-pointer to put the Wolf Pack on top again.

It was 49-49 when the Vikings (17-6, 6-1) finally went on the run that would decide the game -- and the championship. Jonah Broom hit a 3-pointer, and Elray Coleman and Aris Banks made back-to-back transition buckets, followed by a putback from Malik Washington.

That completed an 11-2 run that left West with a nine-point lead and just more than 2 minutes to play.

"We've know we've got to attack every time we get the chance," said Coleman, who finished with 15 points. "If we get a steal, we've got to throw it ahead."

Broom scored 12 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, and Washington had 15 points to go with 16 rebounds, and he battled 6-foot-9 Ridgeview senior Richard Bivens all night. Bivens finished with 20 points and 20 rebounds, but only one of those points came in the fourth quarter.

To make matters worse, the Wolf Pack committed 26 turnovers, including nine in the fourth quarter.

"That's been our demise this year in close games that we lose, we'll kill ourselves with turnovers here and there," Ridgeview coach James Luckey said.

Ridgeview led 11-3 early, but West answered with a 15-4 run, and the teams battled through eight ties and nine lead changes.

"I told the guys, 'That's all you could ask for is going into the last week of the season is to play each other for a league title,'" Luckey said. "It wasn't us playing South or something and hoping (West would) lose. We got a chance to settle it ourselves. That's all you could ask for is to be in that position."

Both teams came in riding winning streaks: Ridgeview had won three in a row since it lost at home to West, and the Vikings had won four straight since losing an early league game to Golden Valley.

"After we took that 'L,' we had a talk and it changed everything," Coleman said. "I just told the seniors that this was the last opportunity we got. It was our last chance to keep playing together."

And West will get a chance to keep going, first Thursday against South and then in the D-III playoffs. But no matter what happens, the Vikings can finally add another year to the league-title banner in their gym.

"It feels amazing," Coleman said. "I'm just blessed. We're just really happy."

 

 

 

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