The Valleyview Vikings have scraped and clawed their way into the senior boys final at the Fulton Cup preseason city basketball championships.
The Vikings beat the NorKam Saints 56-48 on Thursday in what was a tough battle at the Tournament Capital Centre. On Wednedsday, Valleyview had opened with a 77-65 victory over the St. Ann's Crusaders - a result that doesn't properly illustrate how tight the game actually was.
The two games were anomalous at the Fulton Cup, which brings together most of the area's teams, regardless of level, and often can be filled with blowouts. Somehow, probably by bad luck, the Vikings missed out on the easy games, and had to play two tough ones.
Either way, they're happy to be in the final and happy with how they're playing.
"We're coming off some losses in previous tournaments, and we've been working our butts off in practice," said Vikings Grade 11 guard Layton Demidoff. "We keep getting better, and that's what you want."
The final is scheduled for today, 8:15 p.m., at the TCC, with Valleyview taking on the Sa-Hali Sabres.
The Sabres opened the tournament with a 67-25 victory over the Ashcroft Rams on Wednesday, before defeating the Westsyde Whundas 72-48 last night.
Matched up against the Crusaders on Wednesday, the Vikings used a stellar inside game to earn a victory.
On Thursday, Valleyview used tight defence to discombobulate the Saints, who had rolled past the Chase Trojans 79-22 on Wednesday. It appeared as though the Vikings were frustrating the Saints on Thursday, and NorKam just couldn't get into a rhythym offensively.
"I don't think we were actually trying to frustrate them; we were just trying to play the defence we want," said the 6-foot-0 Demidoff. "We want to force turnovers a lot . . . and we played really well tonight.
"The offence came after our defence came."
Valleyview methodically worked its way to a 28-16 halftime lead, and didn't have any trouble holding on in the second half. NorKam tried to make a few runs, but the spunky Vikings always had an answer.
"We're coming off a few injuries but we have the whole team together now," Demidoff said. "We feel great right now."
Demidoff ended with 21 points for Valleyview, and Lliam Wishart scored 10. Kyle Corich had 13 points for the Saints.
The Vikings haven't had it as easy as have the Sabres, but Valleyview definitely has some momentum.
"We've got to get rested up," Demidoff said. "It'll be a good game . . . so we'll see what happens in the final."
Ashcroft Rams 42, St. Ann's Crusaders 41 - Ash: Cheyenne Sabyan, 16; SAA: Alex Bryenton, 17.
Valleyview 57, Barriere 25 - VV: McKenna Pearce, 18; BC: Katrine Schilling, 11.
South Kamloops Titans 98, Westsyde Whundas 19 - SK: Anna Frenkel, 23; WW: Hannah Stainton, 9.
NorKam Saints 53, Sa-Hali Sabres 49 - NK: Reiko Ohama, 22; SS: Taylor MacDonald, Marilyn Bowda, each 9.
Seventh-place game - St. Ann's vs. Barriere (TCC)
Bronze-medal game - Westsyde vs. Sa-Hali, 3:15 p.m. (TCC)
4th/6th game - Ashcroft vs. Valleyview, 4:45 p.m. (TRU)
Gold-medal game - South Kamloops vs. NorKam, 6:30 p.m. (TCC)
Barriere Cougars 65, Ashcroft Rams 45 - BC: Jordan Rainer, 38; Ash; Jackson Cave, 13.
St. Ann's Crusaders 50, Chase Trojans 42 - SAA: Jeeven Bains, 20, Jesse Johnson, 13.
Valleyview 56, NorKam 48 - VV: Layton Demidoff, 21; NK: Kyle Corich, 13.
Sa-Hali Sabres 72, Westsyde Whundas 48 - SS: Noah Marchand, 20; WW: Joe Davis, 15.
Seventh-place game - Chase vs. Ashcroft, noon (TCC)
4th/6th game - St. Ann's vs. Barriere, 1:30 p.m. (TRU)
Bronze-medal game - NorKam vs. Westsyde, 4:45 p.m. (TCC)
Gold-medal game - Valleyview vs. Sa-Hali, 8:15 p.m. (TCC)
Kamloops Christian Eagles 42, St. Ann's Crusaders 29 - KCS: Meghan Grinberg, 27; Gabrielle Mayhew, 12.
Westsyde Whundas 42, Ashcroft Rams 23 - WW: Sienna Rheinhart, 9; Ash; Alysha Edwards, Breana Paulos, each 9.
South Kamloops 46 NorKam 15 - SK: Rachel Peters, 15; NK: Madasin White, 6.
Sa-Hali 34, Valleyview 25 - SS: Makenna Cleveland, 10; VV: Hannah Bergman, 13.
Seventh-place game - St. Ann's vs. Ashcroft, noon (TRU)
4th/6th game - Kamloops Christian vs. Westsyde, 1:45 p.m. (TCC)
Bronze-medal game - NorKam vs. Valleyview, 3:15 p.m. (TCC)
Gold-medal game - South Kamloops vs. Sa-Hali, 8 p.m. (TCC)
St. Ann's Crusaders 72, Ashcroft Rams 12 - SAA: Justin Melnychuk, 12: Ash: Tommy Burgess, 6.
Westsyde Whundas 59, Barriere Cougars 21 - WW: Parker Rice, 18; BC: Carter Rudd, 5.
South Kamloops Titans 50, Valleyview Vikings 47 - SK: Max Harris, 12; VV: Tanner Farber, 15.
Sa-Hali Sabres 48, NorKam Saints 16 - SS: Ty Scott, 13; NK: Jimmy Heyer, 6.
Seventh-place game - Ashcroft vs. Barriere, 1:45 p.m. (TCC)
4th/6th game - St. Ann's vs. Westsyde, 3:15 p.m. (TRU)
Bronze-medal game - Valleyview vs. NorKam, 3:15 p.m. (TCC)
Gold-medal game - South Kamloops vs. Sa-Hali, 6:30 p.m. (TCC)