Overtime

Dave Ruden offers news, commentary and analysis on the FCIAC and local sports

Humility one reason Vikings, so far, are better than advertised

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Westhill's Jeremiah Livingston goes in for a layup Tuesday night against Norwalk.

For one of just two remaining unbeaten teams in conference play, Westhill has received little buzz as we near the midpoint of the FCIAC basketball season.

There are currently six schools with either zero or one loss overall, and the Vikings (6-1) have generated the least amount of buzz of them all.

How come? The Vikings got very little attention in the preseason, they don’t have a superstar and their wins are not always pretty.

In Westhill’s one matchup against a contender, it lost by 17 points to Bassick in a non-league game.

While I’m not buying into the Vikings as a championship contender just yet, there is a lot to like about them. Against Harding on Friday night, they struggled with turnovers. On Tuesday against Norwalk, they weathered a 22-3 run. Westhill still found a way to win both games.

The Vikings have little height, but they play taller than their size, keeping rebounds alive on the boards and then finding a way to get to loose balls. They’re still prone to problems handling the ball, but thus far have compensated with a stifling defensive effort that is becoming their trademark.

Take away the 78-60 loss to the Lions and Westhill is allowing just under 52 points in its wins.

Most impressive is the roster is comprised of very likable players with little ego and good chemistry.

Case in point: Friday night C.J. Donaldson, a sophomore, made the game winning basket against Harding. Throughout the paper I had his last name as Davidson. I was corrected via social media, but since I copied the roster out of the scorebook, I was certain it was spelled wrong there and that was the reason for the mistake, which I verified Tuesday night.

Still, I felt bad about the situation and after Tuesday’s game sought out Donaldson, apologized for the error and told him the reason behind it. Donaldson smiled, said it didn’t bother him and then uttered the same words he did after the Harding game, “All I care about is the win.”

That attitude sums up the team. Players care about wins not publicity.

It has carried the Vikings to a great start and, one suspects, will be the intangible that leads them to a successful season.

Categories: General