It was a big day for the home team in the opening round of the Second Annual Rockport Holiday Basketball Tournament.
Both the Rockport boys and girls picked up victories to advance to Saturday’s Tournament Final back at the Rowell Gymnasium.
With a 53-44 win over Matignon, the Vikings boys will take on St. Joseph’s, victors over Essex Tech, in the tournament final at 7 p.m. The Vikings girls, on the other hand, beat Essex Tech, 34-22 and will take on Georgetown, winners over Tech Boston, in the finals at 5 p.m.
The boys earned a trip to the final by holding off a strong second half surge from Matignon.
The Vikings (2-3) went into the half with a 27-17 lead and getting the better of the play on both ends of the floor. But Matignon clawed its way back into the game and eventually tied things up at 44-44 in the fourth quarter.
Rockport, as it did all night, then turned to junior captain Gavyn Hillier, who scored his team’s final 11 points of the night and led all scorers with 33 on the game. Hillier scored every point in a 9-0 run to finish off the contest.
“I was pleased with the way we finished the game, we kept our poise even though they got back in it in the third,” Rockport head coach Phil Whitley said. “Gavyn was great tonight, especially at the end.”
Hillier led the Vikings in the first half as well as he scored 16 in the first two quarters to pace his team to an early lead, which grew to 10-points by halftime.
Junior captain Austin Matus also had a big game with 11 points while successfully facilitating the offense.
“We’re a young team and this was a step in the right direction,” Whitley said. “We’re still looking for a third scorer to help Austin and Gavyn out, they’re carrying us right now.”
Like the boys, the girls also broke out to an early lead, but they never looked back in a game that was not as close as the final score indicates.
Sophomore Kylie Schrock led the Vikings (4-0) from the jump as she had 14 in the first half to make it 18-10 lead at the break.
In the second half, Essex Tech began to give Schrock, who finished with 17, extra attention, but her teammates stepped up on the offensive end of the floor. Lauren Ryan and Alexa Osier knocked down three-pointers to help extend the lead to 28-12 after three. Taylor Frost also chipped in nine points.
“We did a great job on offense and defense tonight,” head coach Mike Wilson said. “Our zone was very good and we kept them out of the paint even though we’re undersized. Kylie was strong in transition and the girls worked really well together on the offensive side of the floor.”