Thanks to a few hard-fought games during the recent 1A North Regional Tournament, held Feb. 8-9 in Fredonia, the Williams High School Vikings placed second seed from the north, becoming the 1A North Regional West Division champs in the process. The Vikes also came away from their recent tournament with the prestigious 1A North Region Runners-Up Award. The Vikes now find themselves facing a must-win situation as they head to Prescott High School today to take on Patagonia, with game time scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
"We are now in a position where we must win to continue in the state tournament," said Vikings coach Denis Kirkley, who urged basketball fans in Williams to travel to Prescott to cheer on their home team.
"If we lose our season is over," Kirkley said.
The Vikes earned their spot in the semi-finals after a hard-fought battle against Joseph City. The Vikings kept up with Joe City, scoring 15 points in the first quarter of play, followed by a strong 16 points in the second quarter, making the score Williams 31, Joseph City 18 at halftime.
The Vikes tacked on another 13 points in the third quarter, while Joseph City brought in an additional 12 points. It was Joseph City who rallied in the fourth quarter of play, bringing in 20 points to Williams' 14 points. The extra points weren't enough to win the game, however. Williams took the win with a final score of 58, Joseph City 50.
Top scorer for Williams was Enzo Clapper, with a total of 17 points in the game, eight rebounds and two assists. Guy Forbis pitched in four points for the Vikes against Joe City, as well as three steals, two assists and one rebound. Other top scorers included Darius Brown, Adam Schulte and Robbie Puga.
Mogollon proved a little too tough for Williams during the 1A North Regional Tournament, thanks to a bad second quarter for the Vikes. With a score close to even by the end of the first quarter of play, the Vikings went into the second with a total of 13 points to Mogollon's 14. Mogollon held the Vikes to a shallow three points in the second quarter, ending the first half of play with a score of Williams 16, Mogollon 23.
Williams came back in third quarter with 15 points to Mogollon's 14 points, followed by 17 points in the fourth quarter to Mogollon's 14. The rush wasn't enough to seal the win for the Vikes, as the game ended with a final score of Mogollon 51, Williams 48. Top players for Williams included Adam Valdez and Clapper with 16 points apiece, followed by Forbis with eight points.
It was a close win for Williams when they took on Rock Point, who looked to have the upper hand on Williams at the conclusion of the first quarter of play after Rock Point pulled off 19 points as compared to Williams players, who scored a meager four points.
Williams rallied in the second quarter, however, scoring 13 points to end the first half of play with a score of Williams 17, Rock Point 30. The Vikes pulled off a strong third quarter when they nailed 23 points, bringing the score to Williams 40, Rock Point 41.
With an additional 12 points scored in the fourth for Williams, and 11 points scored by Rock Point, the game went into overtime. It was Williams who came out one point on top to end the extra quarter, leaving the Vikes with the win. Final score for the game was Williams 58, Rock Point 57.
Top scorer for Williams was Clapper with 18 points, a whopping 13 rebounds and three steals. Forbis came away with 17 points, nine rebounds, one steal and one assist to end the game for the Vikes. Other top players include Puga and Jr. Esparza with seven points each, followed by Brown with four points.