In the preliminary match-up of Class B East's 8th and 9th seed, the Caribou Vikings pulled off the stunning win at home 41-30 over the visiting Hermon Hawks. The Hawks came in missing one of their regular starters Taylor Gross - who left the team mid-season, but it was clear they came to compete. The Vikings - having been on the outside looking in at the tournament the past two years - was looking to make their first trip to the Bangor Auditorium post-season in that span. While each team struggled from the charity strip - the Vikings clearly set the pace they wanted in the game and used a stifling 4th quarter defensive stand to limit the Hawks to just 3 points in the final period.
The Hawks grabbed the lead first and built on it steadily in the 1st two quarters. Braddock Deabay led all scores with a game-high 15 points to go along with his 5 boards. Filling in for the missing Gross was Fritz Marseilles - who used his quickness and dribble penetration to create for his teammates as well as collect 6 points of his own. Marseilles also grabbed 6 boards and dished 3 assists. The young Freshmen Tyler Thayer contributed heavily for his Hawks - playing both ends of the floor and running the show on the offensive end. Four of Thayer's six points came in the first half to help the Hawks take a 4 point lead into halftime against the Vikings. Senior Josh Allen - also collected 3 points and grabbed 4 boards for the downed Hawks.
Senior Matt Till of Caribou continued to struggle with his shot in the first half of the game. Till was 0-5 in the first two periods before hitting a clutch 3-pointer in the final period with the game tied at 27 to shift the momentum for the Vikings. Till finished with just 5 points. With Till struggling, it was up to the other boys in maroon to step it up. Keeping the Vikings close in the 1st quarter was Senior Roland 'Rollie' Thibodeau - who had the Vikings first 5 points. Thibodeau would finish with 10 points with 4 boards and 3 assists. Rollie also went 5-6 from the free throw line in the final period. Despite some early foul trouble, Stephen St. Peter gathered himself in the 2nd half to finish with 11 points and 5 boards while the Viking big man Branden Holdsworth had 9 points and 8 boards.
The true reason for the Viking victory came from their tenacious defense in the 2nd half. Led by point guard Chad Caverhill - who managed to draw two 5-second calls on Hawks guard Thayer - the Vikings held the Hawks to just 9 points the entire second half. For the first seven minutes of the final quarter - the Caribou boys left the Hawks without a bucket altogether. Caverhill also contributed 6 points to the Viking cause.
As the clock was winding down - frustration set in a bit and some rough play ensued but was quickly dampened by the officials on duty. The Hawks took the long trip home with dreams of next season while the Vikings won the right to face the #1 seeded Camden Hill boys - led by KVAC points leader Tyler McFarland (27.7 ppg) on Saturday at 4:30 pm at the Bangor Auditorium.