Viking boys look good after long layoff in win over Ravenna

Local Sports Journal

The Whitehall Viking boys basketball team has suited up for a game since Dec. 19, a 57-45 loss to league rival Mason County Central.

Yet, despite the 22-day layoff, the Vikings (3-2) looked good Friday night versus Ravenna (1-4), defeating the Bulldogs 73-50 in West Michigan Conference action.

“Good game to win after such a long layoff,” said Whitehall head coach Nate Aardema. “Ravenna played very hard and were well coached. They made us work for everything tonight.”

With fresh legs, the Vikings led by five, 14-9, after one, and 32-19 at the break.

Both teams combined for 41 points in the third, but a 20-point fourth quarter by Whitehall put the contest out of reach.

“We threw a few different defensive looks at them, and Whitehall responded well to each,” said Ravenna head coach Mark VanderWal.  “We did not execute our offense very well the first half, so had to make a few adjustments at halftime that got us going a little better in the third quarter.”

He continued, “We had a few guys that really played well for us tonight. I am encouraged at how we are progressing and look forward to continuing improvement over the next few weeks.”

Senior guard Matt Rohen led the way for the Vikings, scoring a game-high 18 points, while dishing out five assists in the win. Teammate Dylan Medendorp scored 17 points, and senior center Matt Russell added 10 points, while junior Patrick Johnson finished with seven steals and five assists.

Junior forwards Justin Jones and Conner Beahan led Ravenna with 13 points each, and freshman guard Jake Sied added 10 points in the loss.

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