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UC Boys Basketball:

Vikings Mid-Year Report

The Union Catholic Vikings are the 2023-2024 Union County Conference Watchung Division Champions. After defeating Elizabeth at home on February 7th, the Vikings clinched their first Watchung Conference title since 2014. Union Catholic Boys Basketball has had an electrifying start to the season. For the first time in school history, they earned the number 2 seed in both the Union County Tournament and Non-Public A Tournament, and currently hold the 19th rank in the state of New Jersey.

The hot start for Union Catholic can be attributed to several factors. Coaches Reagan and Goodell have propelled the Vikings to new heights. Guards Luke Schorr and Aj Altobeli have led the scoring charge this season, while forwards FK Muntari and 4-star recruit Yaw Ansong have excelled in rebounding and defense. As of February 12th, the Vikings boast a 17-6 record, with an 8-2 standing in conference play.

The success of the Vikings comes as no surprise, given their status as the reigning Non-Public A State Champions and the return of many key players from last year’s squad. Forward Terrance Wood commented, “Our success is greatly attributed to our rigorous practice regime and preparation.” The Vikings dedicate limited time off, focusing on film analysis, practice sessions, and conditioning throughout the season.

Two weeks ago, the Vikings participated in the Metro Classic Showcase, facing off against the top-ranked St. Rose and Franklin High School. Although they started strong against St. Rose, entering the fourth quarter trailing by only 3 points, they couldn’t maintain the momentum, ultimately losing with a 23-6 fourth-quarter deficit. However, against Franklin, the Vikings managed to secure a narrow 51-49 victory in a highly competitive match.

In the past week, the Vikings played four games, starting with a Senior Night celebration against Newark Lab, followed by a crucial game against the Elizabeth Minutemen for the conference title, which they won convincingly with a 59-47 scoreline. The next day, they faced a tough challenge against South Jersey powerhouse Medford Tech, ultimately prevailing with an 82-60 win. Finally, in the County Quarter Final, they defeated the seventh-seeded Westfield Blue Devils 78-51.

With the County Semi-Finals approaching, Union Catholic is determined to secure their spot in the County Final as they face the 11-seed Cranford Cougars. With all the pieces falling into place, it will be intriguing to see how far they can progress in the county and state tournaments.

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