Saturday, November 27, 2021

VASJ hits century mark in first game at new-look Viking Village

Villa Angela-St. Joseph said hello to newly renovated Viking Viking Village on Friday night.

And in doing so, the Vikings quickly waved goodbye to visiting Holy Name.

VASJ christened its new-look home gym with a resounding 100-61 win over the Green Wave.

Viking Village underwent a major facelift in the offseason, but while the gym may have a new appearance, it was the same old dominance from the Vikings that has made it one of the best home-court advantages in Northeast Ohio for decades.

Eleven VASJ players scored in the Vikings’ first game in the Buckeye State and their first NCL White game of the season in front of the home crowd for the first time. VASJ opened the season with a 60-54 win over nationally ranked Archbishop Carroll in Kentucky on Dec. 6. The Vikings followed that performance up with a big effort against Holy Name, particularly in the second half.

“We scored 100 points in our first game at the new Viking Village and did most of it playing against a zone defense, so I guess you really can’t ask for more than that,” VASJ coach Babe Kwasniak said.

Kwasniak was asking for a little more from his defense after the Green Wave scored 40 points in the first half. The Vikings responded by limiting Holy Name to 7 points in the third quarter and turning a somewhat competitive game into a rout with an 81-47 lead to start the final 8 minutes of play.

Jeff Grudzinski came off the bench and provided a big spark for VASJ (2-0), hitting four 3s and scoring 16 points. Senior guard Brian Parker (Marist signee) scored a game-high 23 points for the Vikings.

Carlton Bragg had 16 points and Dererk Pardon added 15 for VASJ, which will travel to rival Euclid on Dec. 13.

Sherman Dean gave the Vikings a lift with six points off the bench.

“We had 20 guys put in extra work on their own this week and that is when you know you have something special and it showed tonight,” Kwasniak said.

“Jeff was really good for us off the bench again, not only with the 3s but with his defense in spurts. We had a lot of guys contribute. It was a great atmosphere at the Village. Overall, it was just a really good night.”

 

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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