The West Vigo High School boys basketball team opened its season with a bang Tuesday night, winning its home contest 93-28 over North Vermillion.
West Vigo coach Joe Boehler enjoyed the performance that he received from his players and the tone they set for the season.
“We didn’t want to come into this game looking at the scoreboard,” Boehler said. “We just wanted to put our heads down and set a tone for how we are going to play this year.
“We want to know that we are going to take care of the ball and that we are going to be aggressive. We have to continue to form an identity for ourselves.”
West Vigo was aggressive from the opening tip, attacking the rim past a Falcon defense that often found itself a half step behind its host. Viking senior Sean Roberts shined throughout the evening, scoring 13 of the team’s first 15 points and managing 40 points overall. The mark came just shy of the West Vigo single-game school-record of 43 points, though missing that record was not a concern of Roberts post-game.
“It’s a little tough not getting it [school record], but we came out with a win and that’s the only thing that really matters,” Roberts said.
“We can’t let our heads get too big from this game. We have to stay focused and I think that we will have big things coming.”
North Vermillion struggled to find its shot early, falling behind 21-0 as Viking senior Kaleb Hannahs paced the defense with three quick steals.
The Falcons tacked their first points on the board with a 3-point shot from sophomore Carter Edney with 1:48 left in the first quarter, eventually ending the period down 23-7.
West Vigo continued to push the pace of the contest in the second quarter, opening up a 7-0 run with shots coming from senior Kaleb Hannahs and Roberts. Hannahs finished with 12 points and four steals.
The Vikings continued its dominance of the contest, taking a 35-10 lead on a shot from senior Ethan Burgess with 2:36 left in the half. North Vermillion scored six points in the second quarter, trailing 41-13 at halftime.
Two early shots from Hannahs helped to edge the Falcons in the start of the second half as West Vigo rattled off a 30-4 run through the entirety of the third quarter. West Vigo junior Case Lautenschlager was a strong factor in the defensive presence of the Vikings, grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds to pair with two steals. Hannahs and Roberts each chipped in four steals as well.
The scoreless streak of nearly six minutes of regulation for North Vermillion ended in the fourth quarter behind a basket from senior Ethan Watson. Despite giving up a game-high 11 points in the fourth quarter, West Vigo kept its foot on the pedal, scoring 22 points to win its season opener.
North Vermillion first-year coach Cody Wright, who inherited a roster that graduated nine seniors from its ranks in 2018-19, gave full credit to West Vigo for its performance.
“Credit to West Vigo, they shot lights out tonight and played really well,” Wright said.
“We weren’t able to slow the game down and couldn’t stop it from getting out of control.”