The Vikings’ train just keeps on steamrolling along.
Voyager (16-0, 26-2) won its 16th straight game with a dominating 86-29 win last week over Franklin Academy.
The Vikings, who are averaging almost 80 points a game, have not lost since Dec. 29 against Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in the Moody Holiday Classic in Rock Hill, S.C.
Voyager easily won the NCAC regular-seson race with a three-game cushion over second-place River Mill Academy. The Vikings are now the two-time conference champions and are seeking their third straight tournament championship beginning on Monday.
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But the despite the easy conference road, coach Mike Huff said team goals help keep the players focused.
“We look at every game as an opportunity to prepare for the playoffs,” said Huff who replaced former coach Patrick Walton after last season. “We set goals for getting 25 assists in a game or holding our opponent under a certain number on offensive rebounds. So we set goals to keep the guys focused.”
Voyager led from start to finish, as the team honored seniors Gary Ford II, Zach Pridgen, Diante Parker, Christopher Saus and team manager Faith Winner – who got to play in the second half, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Parker, who finished with eight points and five assists, was also honored with a Presidential Volunteerism Award presented by Donyell Bryant, co-founder of the N.C. Pro-Am Summer Basketball League. Parker has volunteered over 200 hours in community service.
Junior center Jay Huff scored a game-high 21 points in three quarters; Sause added 16. Huff and junior classmate Mark Vincent each had nine rebounds.
Voyager was scheduled to host NCAC tournament games on Monday and Wednesday nights. The championship game was set at Kestrel Heights on Friday, but if the Hawks are eliminated before then, the final moves to Voyager.
The Vikings lost in the first round of the playoffs last season to Wallace-Rose Hill 81-76. Huff said they are hoping to do better this time around.
“To make it to the championship game and play at (UNC) Carmichael Auditorium would be wonderful,” he said.
Girls ready to start anew
The best thing about conference tournaments is every team begins 0-0.
Voyager Academy girls could take comfort in that thought as the North Central Athletic Conference 1A regular season ended Friday night. The tourney begins on Monday.
The Vikings lost to Franklin Academy 46-19 to end their regular season record at 6-10 conference and 7-20 overall. But because they finished sixth and eight teams advance to the tourney, they get to play another day.
Friday night was Senior Night and seniors Amber Riggs, Nia White and Laura Downing were honored before the game.
For Riggs, it was a bittersweet home finale after she went down with an injury with 6:12 left in the third quarter and had to be carried off the court.
Downing led Voyager with eight points, while White pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds.
DA splits in finale
Durham Academy’s girls closed their regular season on a four-game winning streak after winning 35-27 Friday night at North Raleigh Christian. That boosted DA’s record to 17-9 overall, 8-2 in TISAC games, heading into the post-season.
DA’s boys saw their three-win streak snapped last Friday with a 49-46 loss at North Raleigh Christian Academy. That loss in their regular-season finale left the cavaliers at 19-11 overall and 4-4 in TISAC games.