LYNDONVILLE— It’s been a long journey for the 2016-2017 Lyndon Institute Vikings Girl’s Basketball team. The Lady Vikings, led by head coach Eric Berry, finished their season with a school-best 17-3 record, which earned them the second seed out of Vermont Division II Girl’s Basketball.
“It was a big accomplishment,” Berry said. “We had to go to U-32 in the last game of the regular season and pick up a big victory. That victory got us the number two seed and put us in the position that we’re in.”
The Lady Vikings opened up their season with a win against Hazen, which according to Berry, set the tone for the rest of the season. “It was defense in that game right away that opened our eyes and say that this team could be something special.”
Lyndon Institute is a very talented team on the defensive side of the court and have an unbreakable chemistry. However, Coach Berry feels that something else has been the biggest contributor to the team’s success.
“I think it’s the leadership of the seniors and the captains to keep people focused game in and game out,” Berry said. “We have great leadership.”
The Lady Vikings have had a solid playoff season so far. In the first round, LI took on Woodstock, pummeling them 60-30. Lyndon Institute then defeated BFA-Fairfax in a quarterfinal match which sent them to the semi-finals against Fair Haven. For a third time, the Lady Hornets came out on top, defeating Fair Haven by a score of 34-27.
“It’s a long season but you try to come into the playoffs and understand it’s a new season,” Berry said. “When you’re the two seed, you have a big bullseye on your chest and everyone’s going to give you their best game.”
Now, the Vikings face arguably their toughest opponent of the season, Mill River Union High School. The Minutemen finished their season as the number one seed, tallying 16 wins in 20 games. LI is yet to face Mill River this season, but Coach Berry compared them to the Thetford Academy, who will be playing in the Division III finals against Windsor tomorrow.
“[Thetford] is a solid team and would probably be in the final four for division two,” Berry said. “The physicality of Thetford is comparative to that of Mill River.”
The Championship game will take place at the Barre Auditorium tomorrow at 3:45.