Last night at the DWU Boys Classic in Mitchell the state got to a see a potential Class "B" preview of this years championship game as James Valley Christian barely hung on to knock off White River 64 to 62. Now they are hoping to run away down the stretch.
The Vikings are now 17-1 on the year and have become the front runners in class "B". All 13 players on coach Darwin Hofer's squad are also members of the James Valley Soccer Club which explains why they love to get out and run.
"It has been said before that these guys are soccer players and they run, and they run, and they run. That is what they do and it is to their advantage," James Valley Christian Head coach Darwin Hofer said.
"We like to get up and down the floor, push the tempo, but we can also slow it down and run the half court offense. That is what makes us so difficult to guard in all aspects of the game," Vikings Senior Center Andrew Ulvestad said.
Another reason they have been able to string together 14 consecutive wins is their depth and ability to play multiple positions. They have five seniors returning from their fifth place finish at state a year ago and two key sophomores in Jayden Waldner and Tim Wager that help out their senior leaders.
"We have two main scorers. Senior Nathen Wadel plays both forward and guard for us and Andrew Ulvestad also plays both positions as well. When those two guys get defensive rebounds they don't have to get it up to a guard because they can go coast to coast. They have a green light to go," Hofer said.
The Vikings are knocking out their opponents by an average of 68 points per game and have topped ten teams with winning records. It is this consistency that they hope will carry them all the way.
"It has been a consistent path, but there are some things that we need to remain consistent with. Scoring, shooting, we have been consistent with that and pushing the ball every chance that we get is our strength and that is what we are going to do," Hofer said.
The Vikings will host 15-2 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket Monday night before wrapping up their regular season at home against Wessington Springs.