With no preseason, no freshman team, limited spectators, and a whole lot of masks, the boys basketball team has anything but a normal season. While the team only lost one senior from the 2019 team, the program lost the freshman team, as per the PAC-12s COVID-19 rules. Without a feeder program for the senior team, this forces the junior varsity team to use the 2020-2021 season as a learning year, especially for the five freshmen playing on JV.
The varsity squad, however, are no strangers to high school basketball. With 7 seniors and 7 juniors, this veteran Viking team was out for revenge in their home-opener vs. Pope John Paul II on January 25. Last year, the Vikings fell to the Panthers 60-54 in a close game against that year’s 4A District 1 champions who were also ranked 48th in the state.
Through two quarters, the Vikings were down 36-23. The guard pair of Kevin Green and Luke McCarthy gave the boys in orange trouble the entire game. The two had a combined 39 points with four threes among them. The Panthers had 18 points off of free throws, as opposed to the Vikings 10.
However, things weren’t all bad for Perk Valley. Senior Kam Parks amassed 14 points along with a few blocks at the rim. Juniata commit Tyler Lapetina also had 14 points with a pair of threes and a pair of steals on the defensive end. In his first varsity game, Vance Sadler had 7 points, obtaining 5 from the line. The Vikings came into this game with one week of practice after the season was pushed back several times due to pandemic concerns.
The game concluded 76-42, with Pope John Paul coming out on top. Moving forward, the Vikings look to come back strong in their next game against Spring-Ford on January 27th. Although it was a tough loss to start the season, the Vikings are prepared to bring the heat in the next couple of competitions.
Photo: Allison Brady