The Valley Central Vikings sent their seniors off in grand fashion on Friday.
After the opening ceremonies, the Vikings scored 19 points in the first quarter with a 47-14 win over the Goshen Gladiators in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association Division II girls’ basketball game at Valley Central High School in Montgomery.
“It feels good to be a senior and play one of my last games as a senior to play here,” said Shalesse Joyner, who led the Vikings with a game-high 12 points. “And we won. When we work together as a team, it feels good.”
Winning was never in doubt as the Vikings outscored the Gladiators, 19-3, in the first quarter. The Vikings scored the game’s first 10 points before Goshen’s Chloe Griffin knocked down a 3-pointer to get the Vikings on the board.
“They did everything right,” Valley Central coach Bill Michella said. “They did what they were supposed to do. They worked the offense, as well as play hard on defense. When they asked to slow it down, they slowed it down showing good sportsmanship.”
The Vikings did all that without putting their usual starting lineup on the field.
The four seniors – Joyner, Breonna Curtis Wright, Mia Ponzo, and Kayla Mainor – started alongside Adrianna Ferraro, who rounded out the starting five.
They also started the second half.
“I got to say goodbye to my team, and my teammates, even though we still got a lot of season left,” Joyner said. “My teammates, all the families that are here coming out to support us are all involved.”
In addition to their four seniors, the program also honored senior team manager Aliyah Gonzales.
“This team is very close,” Michella said. “As far as the program goes, they’re going to be sorely missed. They work well together. They make you smile at practice. “They work hard. They’re just a fun group. I’m going to miss them a whole lot.”
Sophomore Giselle Johnson scored 10 points.
The Vikings opened the week with 37-32 win over the Cornwall Dragons on January 30.
Maggie Bishopp scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Michella said senior captain Mia Ponzo played stellar defense.
“She’s incredible,” Michella said “She’s tough. She does not give up. I wish every player was like her. She doesn’t play like she is 4-foot-11. She plays like she’s 6-foot-3 and she’s not afraid of anybody. She intimidates people.”
The Vikings still have two more division games left, which includes an opportunity to avenge their only divisional loss: a 40-26 loss to the Warwick Wildcats on January 12.
They will host the Wildcats on Tuesday. They also have a road game against the Washingtonville Wizards and non-league games against the Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders and the Onteora Eagles.
But even with two home games remaining before the Section 9 Class AA tournament, the reality that it will be ending soon wasn’t lost.
“It made me kind of emotional, like this is really it for us,” Joyner said. “All our fans came out. And for the seniors on the team, it was just a moment for us.”
Wallkill girls cruise past Cornwall
Zoe Mesuch scored a game-high 27 points, leading the Wallkill Panthers to a
66-38 win over the Cornwall Dragons in a non-league girls’ basketball game on Wednesday at Wallkill High school.
Alex Dembinsky added 10 points for the Panthers (10-3).
Karis Addison led Cornwall (6-7) with 14 points.
The Panthers finished the week with a 68-46 Mid Hudson Athletic League Division I victory over the FDR Presidents.