- Nolan Catholic
Seniors save Vikings, win area championship
Fort Worth, TX - The playoffs in Texas matter and especially in the loaded TAPPS 6A classification. Facing TCA, who had beaten the Vikings earlier this season, seniors Michael Jones and Patrick Hoffman scored the final twelve points of the game as the Vikings held off the Trojans, 42-37 to win the area championship.
Trailing 34-30 with a little of three minutes left in the game, the Vikings would finish the game on a 12-3 run led by stout defense and timely offense. Jones would add a pull up jumper and four free throws while Hoffman would add six points of his own, including the go ahead basket with 1:31 left in the game.
“Players have to make plays during the playoffs and our big three made plays late in the game. The goal this time of the year is to survive and advance and we made enough plays to move on to see another day,” head coach Dylan Dudley said after the victory.
A key to the game was the defensive effort on TCA star Blake Muschalek, who came into the game averaging over 20 points per contest.
District defensive player of the year Andrew Cao drew the assignment of guarding Muschalek. In regards to Cao’s performance, Dudley was not the least bit surprised.
“There is a reason he was voted defensive player of the year by opposing coaches. He just works, he just competes and he is going to fight you every possession,” Dudley said. “Muschalek is a hard guard, he’s going to make a few, but to hold him to 13 overall and zero in the first half is a testament to not only Andrew but to our team in regards to their attention to detail of the scouting report.”
With the win, the Vikings advance to the regional championship game Saturday afternoon against JPII. The game will be played at Rock Hill High School in Prosper.