Vikings Victorious in Play-Off

Jenny Scarborough

A large home crowd turned up to cheer the Lady Dolphins in an historic play off game.

Vikings Victorious in Play-Off

A contingent of enthusiastic Plymouth Viking fans were on hand as well, and the Dolphin tank rang with noise.

Point guard Desire "DeeDee" Chesson nabbed the tip and took it straight to the hole for the first points of the night. She then stole the ball on the first Dolphin possession. Chesson's quick hands plagued the home team all night.

Freshman Ariana Trejo made a strong move just inside the free throw stripe, picked up the assist from Lucy O'Neal, and tied the game at 2 all.

The five starting Viking seniors have been playing together since seventh grade, said forward Ebony Barrow's mother. Barrow scored on a breakaway, and center Kristy Gibson caught a nice lob from Shaquaisa Cooper to give the Vikings a 6 point lead in the early going.

Lucy O'Neal blocked a shot, and then got the offensive rebound, popped it out to Katie O'Neal, who zipped a pass to Alin Tellez on the baseline and the Dolphins were back in it. A driving Diana Perez, the only Ocracoke senior, made it 6-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Starting guard Alma Flores rejoined the game in the second eight minute period, after going down hard in the first. A Perez three from the wing gave the Dolphins their first lead of the night, 9-8, and the crowd rose to its feet, drowning out the noise of the Viking cheer squad.

Good passing from Abby Morris to Katie to Perez made it 11-8.

Winstead gets off the shot and the defense off its feet.
Winstead gets off the shot and the defense off its feet.

Barrow responded with a strong inside move, got the lucky roll, and then caught an outlet for an easy lay up after Chesson stole the ball, putting the Vikings back on top 12-11. Janazia Dixon added a point from the line.

Morris was open on the baseline, and called for the ball as Katie beat the press to tie the game at 13.

Barrow rose up for a spectacular offensive rebound on the next possession, scored with a strong step to the basket, helping her team head to the locker room with a 20 -15 lead.

Despite freeing herself for open looks, Lucy couldn't find the net. Shots that should have fallen did not. She had only one field goal in the game.

The quick, strong hands of Katie helped keep the Dolphins alive. She was credited with three steals, one block, six assists and seven rebounds in the game. She was also the Dolphin player most likely to pick up loose balls, and was instrumental in breaking Plymouth's full court press.

A heartbreaking miss by Lucy opened the third quarter. On the next trip down the court, she was fouled, making both the basket and extra point to cut the lead to 18-22.

The press began to fatigue the Dolphins, who have only three players coming off the bench. Chesson stole the ball on back to back to back possessions, opening up an 18-30 lead.

Flores set one helluva pick at half court that sent a Viking sprawling across the floor, and then both Katie and Perez dropped in threes, to make it 24-34.

Plymouth began to slow down the game, and added four more while the Dolphins went scoreless in the final minutes of the third.

The tired Ocracoke players never made it to their front court in the first few minutes of the fourth. The Viking players stepped in front of passes, and took the ball right out of Dolphin hands, quickly adding ten more and doubling up on the home team, 48-24.

"We were gassed," said Coach Adam Burleson. "We're at the top of Tideland Conference conditioning, but we need to be in better shape next year. We see it now."

Plymouth went 9-2 in the Four Rivers Conference, and will next year join a new league, the Coastal Ten, of which Ocracoke will be a part. They were coming off a 61-24 victory over Raleigh Charter. Ocracoke defeated Roxboro Community School to make it to the second round of the state play offs.

The scrubs hit the floor with 4:37 left on the clock. The Dolphin girls continued to hustle with all the energy they could muster, but Alin Tellez was the only player to score in the last quarter. The final was 56-26.

In the locker room after the game, Coach B reminded his players that seven of them will be returning next year, while all five Plymouth starters and two other seniors will move on.

Perez was the Dolphin high scorer with ten points. While Lucy only added three to the scoreboard, she was, as always, an instrumental part of this team, handling the ball, blocking seven shots, and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Visit to see full stats from this and all other Lady Dolphin games.




Comments powered by Disqus