Dons Drop First Game in SFV Invitational Tournament

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On Monday afternoon the Verdugo Hills Dons played against The Vikings of Valencia high school in the Ed Baker San Fernando Valley Invitational at Kennedy High School in Granada Hills. The Dons played in the kickoff game of the tournament.. A lot of pressure was put on Verdugo Hills as they came into this tournament looking for wins.

The game started at full force with both teams attacking the ball, creating a fast paced feel, and it was with Valencia being the aggressors. The Dons struggled in the first quarter with many turnovers, leading to the Vikings having the speed advantage running up and down the court with ease. A bright spot for the Dons, however, was their ability to be on top of rebounds. The first quarter ended 27-19 in favor of the Vikings.

Going into the second quarter the Vikings looked to extend their lead, but there was still hope in the eyes of the Dons. Verdugo Hills, however, struggled offensively and could not capitalize on their opportunities with shots. Meanwhile, the Vikings were able to slip through the defense of the Dons with their speed and agility. Verdugo’s defense left some of the opposing players wide open to take shots and the Vikings were able to add onto their lead. By the end of the 2nd quarter the Dons were down 42-30.

Going into halftime the Dons were going to have to try to find a way to break the seal and get through the Vikings defense and slow down their offense. Taking their break at halftime both teams came back onto the court with full force as if there was no break. Early in the quarter, it looked like Verdugo might be turning the tide in their favor, as they started to make more shots and stop the Vikings on defense. With more pressure on the Dons their shot opportunities became more difficult, yet they were still able to get the ball in the basket. With what the Dons had discussed at the half definitely put a new flame in them. With this the Vikings also had not stopped for a single moment as the 3rd quarter kept on, their offense became even more polished than the last half. The 3rd quarter came to an end with the score of 62-44 Valencia.

In the final quarter, it became more and more clear the game was going to end in favor of the Vikings of Valencia. They played their game and did not stop for a single moment, as they constantly kept up the defensive pressure and did not stop offensively. By the 2:28 minute mark Dons Coach Jared Gibson had decided to take out his starters and give the other players an opportunity to play in the game. The Dons ended up taking a loss in this game with the final score being 85-52 in favor of the Vikings.

The game was a very hard defeat for the Dons. At the end of the game, Coach Gibson stated it was frustrating with all the turnovers the team had in the first quarter. That aggression with the team has been a problem all throughout the year. He has good basketball players but they are not tough guys and when they play a team of tough guys, it is extremely difficult. The other team played with more energy and when it comes down to that, skill does not matter. The Dons will play again in the SFV invitational at Kennedy High School again on Wednesday, January 5th.

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