By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The Waterloo Vikings boys basketball team prevailed over Newton Falls on Friday in a low-scoring dogfight.
Waterloo, which used scoring advantages in the second and fourth quarters to gain the slight advantage, earned the 33-31 victory to win a Division III sectional championship.
The 13th-seeded Vikings advance to face No. 2 Perry on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Niles McKinley’s Veterans Memorial Gymnasium.
Perry defeated East Palestine, 50-10, on Thursday.
For Waterloo on Friday, it was an upset triumph, with Newton Falls entering the game as the seven seed.
“We had a couple of scary moments,” Waterloo head coach Jason Wise said.
Waterloo trailed 9-2 in the second quarter, but then regrouped to hold a 14-12 lead at halftime.
The Vikings then trailed 26-20 in the third quarter, but rallied again.
“We talked about the team that executed the best down the stretch was going to win, and I thought we did,” Wise said. “Both teams played great defense and there just wasn’t many shots to be had. I am really proud of our kids.”
The win is Waterloo’s fourth sectional championship in the last five years.
Navarre Alhassan was one of just two players in the game to reach double-digits. The senior point guard led the Vikings in scoring with 10 points, while Drew Flarida scored nine points.
Newton Falls’ guard Mac Haidet was the other player to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points.
Waterloo connected on 7-of-11 free throws in the fourth quarter, accounting for more than half of its 13 points in the final eight minutes.
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