Vikings Finish Strong; Headed to Finals

Adrian Almaraz led the Vikings with 16 points. (Photo by Duane Barker).

By Tim Peterson

(Moorpark) – Northview scored 26 points in the first three quarters and was down 29-26. The Vikings then scored 26 points in the fourth quarter to finish off Hillcrest Christian 52-46 Friday night at Moorpark High School to advance to the CIF Division 4A Finals.

Northview struggled to shoot well in the first three quarters. The game was tied at nine after the first quarter and Hillcrest Christian moved out to a three-point advantage, 22-19, at halftime. Nick Santillan had nine points for the Vikings at the half no other Northview player had more than three.

Nick Santillan did some work inside. (Photo by Duane Barker).

Hillcrest Christian wasn’t exactly lighting it up either. Mason Stueber led the team with eight and Carter Reid had five.

It was more of the same in the third quarter as both teams scored just seven points each. The Saints held a precarious three-point lead. Then the fourth quarter happened.

The shots that clanked off the rim the previous three quarters suddenly found the bottom of the net. The ones that sailed through the air and out of bounds were now tickling the twine. Both teams found an offensive rhythm that had been missing throughout the game but it was Northview that had the most success.

The Vikings went on an 11-3 run to start the fourth quarter and jumped in front 37-32. Alex Medrano and Santillan both knocked down threes and Adrian Almaraz buried one as well.

Medrano hit a couple more buckets and Almaraz hit four of six free throws down the stretch to close it out. Anthony Mundo also had a key steal and a bucket.

Anthony Mundo had a big bucket down the stretch for Northview. (Photo by Duane Barker).

Almaraz led the team with 16 points overall including nine in the decisive fourth quarter. Santillan and Medrano were also in double figures with 14 and 12 points respectively. Medrano had seven in the fourth and hit two three-pointers on the night. Santillan also nailed two from beyond the arc. Caleb McKendrick added six.

For the Saints Stueber led the team and all scorers with 18 points and Reid had 12. No other player had more than five. Hillcrest Christian was just 3 for 17 from three-point land including 0 for 7 in the third quarter.

“We played a zone and it proved to be pretty effective,” said Northview head coach Chris Confair.

Confair also felt good about his team’s chances for a playoff run.

“I coached a lot of these seniors when they were sophomores and their goal was to get to a final,” said Northview head coach Chris Confair. “So I knew it was possible.”

The Vikings will now play for a CIF Division 4A championship next weekend.

1 Comment to "Vikings Finish Strong; Headed to Finals"

  1. Cold Shooting's Gravatar Cold Shooting
    February 17, 2024 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    If you’ve never been to the Moorpark gym, I’ve got to tell you it’s BIG. The day I visited, I spoke to the athletic director, who told me that a bond was passed which provided more money than needed for a high school gym, but they didn’t want to leave that money unused, so they built a place that would be adequate for many colleges. These large open spaces can often throw your shooting eye off a bit, and I suspect this is why both teams couldn’t “throw a pea in the ocean” in the early going.

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