Feb. 22, 2022 — When the Viking boys basketball team played their final game of the season, on Feb. 18 at Cottage Grove, it felt like the team accomplished something significant even if the wins and losses weren’t what they hoped. They had completed all 10 of their scheduled Sky-Em League games, something that was not a sure thing just a little over a week ago.
Dealing with constant postponements because of COVID concerns during the season, the team was forced to play a brutal stretch of six games in seven days to end the season. The highlight of those games was on Feb. 16 when, before their game against Marist, the team celebrated its seniors.
The class of 2022 is one of the largest in years, as indicated by the fact there are nine seniors on this year’s boys basketball team. Chuck Johnson, the Viking public address announcer (and golf coach), called up each senior individually, who was then accompanied to the floor of Glenn Butler Court by their family.
First was Chad Hughes. Hughes didn’t play basketball when he was a junior, but you would never know it by his performance this year. His length and athleticism were key to the Viking defense this season.
Beau Erickson was called next. Erickson provided a lift off the bench from the wing position for the Viks this year.
After that was Izaac Mattson. Mattson has showed steady improvement throughout his career at Siuslaw and was always a consistent threat from outside.
Next was Thomas Hamblin. Hamblin was the team’s manager but suited up and played on Senior Night.
Then came Camp Lacouture. Lacouture, like Hughes, did not play basketball his junior year. His competitive fire was a huge asset to the Vikings this year.
Aiden Jefferis came to floor next. Jefferis was one of the few Vikings who played in both the front and backcourt. This made him an extremely valuable member of the roster.
Next was Joe Slaughter. An emotional leader for the Viking squad, Slaughter could be counted on to provide the team with a spark anytime he checked into games.
Lastly, Avery Hart. Hart was dominant in the post all season and is one of the best frontcourt players in the Sky-Em and maybe the entire state.
Two seniors were not in attendance for Senior Night but were valuable members of the Viking team all season, Brody Terry and Braydon Thornton.
Terry finished his career as one of the greatest outside shooters the Siuslaw basketball program has seen. On Jan. 8, he scored 39 points versus Mazama, tied for the seventh most in Viking history.
One of the best offensive players in the Sky-Em League, Thornton presented problems for opponents all season. He was first-team all-league his sophomore and junior years.
After the pregame festivities, the Vikings and Marist took the floor. It appeared the Vikings were provided with an emotional boost as they kept the game close for most of the first quarter. The boost didn’t last as the Spartans pulled away and won 81-37.
No rest for the weary as the Vikings were back on the court Feb. 17 for a home game against the team ranked #3 in OSAA’s 4A computer rankings, Marshfield. The Pirates took care of the Vikings 71-43.
Finally, for their sixth game in the last week, Siuslaw traveled to Cottage Grove for their final match-up of the season on Feb. 18. The Lions beat the Vikings 50-37 to complete both teams’ conference schedules.
Practice for spring sports starts next week. For more information on Siuslaw athletics, go to www.siuslaw.k12.or.us/o/siuslaw-high-school/page/athletics.