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Vikings cagers to face Mogollon, then head to postseason play

Payce Mortensen, Daniel Lopez and Stephen Gary stop the progress of Joseph City's Matt Fields.
Photo by Wendy Howell.

Payce Mortensen, Daniel Lopez and Stephen Gary stop the progress of Joseph City's Matt Fields.


Sydney Mortensen blocks a shot in the Lady Vikes' game with Joseph City.

The Lady Vikes brought home two wins last week as they roll into their last week of regular season play to face the No. 7 Mogollon Mustangs (11-1, 9-0 1A Central) Feb. 1.

The Vikings easily beat Joseph City (4-11, 2-8 1A Central) and Northland Prep Academy (3-13, 2-6 2A Central), beating the Wildcats 55-36 and the Spartans 46-24.

The two wins were important to the Lady Vikes, who were coming off two disappointing losses to No. 32 Ash Fork Spartans Jan. 18, and the No. 23 Mayer Wildcats 40-36 Jan. 20. The Lady Vikes (10-6, 7-4 1A Central) are currently ranked 16th and vying for a state playoff berth.

The season has been a roller-coaster for the Lady Vikes who this season have never made it more than three-in-a-row before accepting another loss.

However, the hoopsters made a strong showing against the No. 11 Grand Canyon Phantoms, beating them 54-52 in overtime Feb. 16, before the losses to Ash Fork and Mayer.

Varsity girls vs. Joseph City

The Lady Vikes got off to a slow start with the Wildcats Jan. 23, scoring just eight points to the Wildcats nine. The second quarter looked the same as the Vikings fell behind the Wildcats until sophomore guard Maegan Ford landed two 3-point shots and one field goal to bring the Vikings ahead 23-22 going into the half.

Excellent rebounding by Amaryssa Orozco, followed by strong defensive play by the Vikings, kept the Wildcats to just five points in the third quarter.

Page Kmetz brought in four points in the quarter followed by a bucket each by Ford, Orozco, Jazlyn Romero and Aaliyah Alvarado.

A dramatic block by Sydney Mortensen brought a close to the third quarter with the Vikings leading 40-29.

The fourth quarter was filled with fouls and the Vikings held a respectable 58 percent shooting from the free throw line, led by sophomore Madi Olson who went 6-for-6 from the line.

The Vikings added an additional 15 points in the fourth, with several key steals by Alvarado to slow any movement by the Wildcats as the Vikings took the win.

Varsity boys vs. Joseph City

The Joseph City boys got the tip-off and scored the first two points of the varsity boys’ game Jan. 23, but that was the end of their time in the lead as the Vikings brought in eight points in a row to leave the first quarter 21-10.

Zack Perkins led led the scoring in the first quarter with seven points, followed by Payce Mortensen with eight. Mortensen put flare on the quarter with a 3-point shot at the buzzer.

The Vikings lagged in the second allowing the Wildcats to outscore them 19-15, but still managed to go into the half leading 34-29.

After the half, the Vikings regained their composure and outscored the Wildcats 22-7 in the third quarter. Leading 56-36 at the end of the third, coach Troy Mortensen withdrew his starters, allowing the younger varsity players some time on the court.

The younger Vikings held their own and helped pull off a 70-50 win over the Wildcats, moving the Vikings to 5th in the 1A Conference.

Payce Mortensen led the scoring in the game with 15 points, followed by 14 from Perkins and 12 from Diego Pedraza. Perkins went 7-for-8 in field goals, followed by Mortensen with 4-for-5. Mortensen had 4-for-4 in free throws, followed by Will McMenamin with 4-for-6.

Perkins and Mortensen led the team with six rebounds each, and Gutierrez led the defense with six assists, five steals and five forced turn-overs.

The Vikings teams next face Mogollon for senior night Feb. 1 at Williams High School.

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