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January 26, 2013

Vikings struggle early in seventh straight defeat

ROCKPORT-- For three quarters Friday night the Rockport and Pentucket boys basketball teams turned in an evenly played, back and forth battle.

Unfortunately for the Vikings, however, they struggled to get into a groove offensively out of the gate. As a result Pentucket broke out to a 10 point first quarter lead and held onto it the entire way en route to a 67-55 win at Rockport High School.

The loss is Rockport’s seventh straight after starting the season 4-0, Pentucket improves to 4-8.

“We just couldn’t find an offensive rhythm,” Rockport head coach Tim St. Laurent said. “I thought we hustled, we played at the tempo we wanted to and we defended, we just couldn’t break out of that early hole.”

The Vikings started things off stone cold from the field missing their first seven shots. At the conclusion of the opening the frame Rockport converted just four of 18 shots from the field. Shot selection was not the problem as Rockport moved the ball well enough to find decent looks, the shots just didn’t fall.

Pentucket took advantage of the Vikings cold streak breaking out to a 19-9 lead by the time the quarter was over.

Rockport also struggled from beyond the arc Friday, which is usually its bread and butter. The Vikings sunk just three shots from behind the three-point line, the first coming in the middle of the third quarter.

“We did a good job early on,” Pentucket head coach Ed Hickey said. “We did a good job breaking their press and we hit our looks. Rockport is tough, they battled back like we expected but we were fortunate enough to get some big baskets to keep them at bay.”

Rockport was forced to play catch-up after the slow start and at times found holes in the Sachems defense to cut into the lead. On four separate occasions the Vikings got to within six points only to see Pentucket answer with a big bucket to break the momentum.

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