Vikes ready for regional battle

Published 6:59 pm Monday, February 27, 2012

Plymouth coach Marvin Davenport (center) will lead his team against East Carteret in the 1-A East Regional semifinal round of the playoffs on Friday in the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

FAYETTEVILLE — It’s been a long, thrilling journey for the Plymouth boys’ basketball team and they are hoping that the story of their 2011-12 season still has a few chapters yet to be written.
On Saturday, the No. 3 Vikings (21-4) were able to fend off Four Rivers Conference rival No. 10 Riverside 57-48 to win a District title and propel themselves into the NCHSAA 1-A East Regional round of the playoffs. On Monday, the glow from the victory still illuminated from Vikings’ third-year coach Marvin Davenport as he attended the East Regional press conference held at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville.
“This is my first time here as a head coach and I’m just full of joy to be here because these kids worked so hard to get here,” said Davenport. “It means a lot for our program because we been working hard for so long.”
Plymouth is hoping it can keep up the good work for just a little bit longer, but first it must get past its Friday night’s regional semifinal matchup with No. 5 East Carteret (18-9, Coastal Plains).
Davenport said he planned to give his squad a little time to rest before its back to business as usually.
“Today (Monday) they are taking the day off and then we’ll start back up on Tuesday,” Davenport said. “We will do some conditioning and shooting free throws.”
Davenport’s players may need some extra conditioning, as they will be playing inside the Crown Coliseum, which has a bigger, college-sized basketball court.
Playing on a larger court can trip up some teams but Davenport is hoping his Vikings can make a smooth transition.
“Well, I hope it doesn’t affect us,” Davenport said. “But, it’s something that the kids will have to adjust to as the game goes on. They just have to stay focused and continue to do the things that got us here.”
Having a more open court can definitely be advantageous to a Vikings team that can be deadly in transition. However, Davenport feels his team can adapt to whatever style it needs to play to win.
“When we get the opportunity to run the ball up the floor and fastbreak that’s what we’ll do, but if it’s not there then we will set up,” Davenport said. “It all depends on what the defense gives us.”
If the Vikings can get past East Carteret it will move on to Saturday’s East Regional final where they will face the winner of the No. 3 West Columbus (13-11)-No. 4 Rocky Mount Prep (23-5) matchup.