ABILENE — The Abilene basketball teams are expected to contend for the Class 4A Division I state championships.
They’ll get no arguments from Smoky Valley’s Vikings.
Both Viking teams ran into a buzzsaw on Friday, as Abilene showed why it’s deserving of its lofty status.
The Viking boys suffered a 55-27 setback to Class 4A Division I’s third-ranked team. The Cowboys, with a superior size advantage, sped to a 15-4 first-quarter lead.
Nick Reinert scored seven points for the Vikings.
Smoky Valley coach Doug Schneider said the Cowboys’ length bothered his team, as it could make only 9 of 45 floor shots. The Vikings did stifle Abilene standout Harley Hazlett, who had a frustrating night with only two points.
The Viking girls, ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll, fell behind 21-2 after a quarter and lost a 51-15 decision to an Abilene team that returns all five starters from last year’s 16-6 unit. Katie Bellah’s five points led the Vikings.
Smoky Valley coach John Bellah said his team played better after the shock of the first quarter. He has almost a new starting team this year and said it will take some time for all the components to mesh.