Vikes stop rival UDA, avenge loss


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ELIZABETHVILLE - With time winding down, Williams Valley's Stephen Sedesse dribbled up court, stopped after he crossed the half-court line and then held the ball until the buzzer went off.

As he did, he got a handshake of congratulations from teammate Dennis Jansen and the rest of the Vikings soon joined in. It was time to relax and savor a playoff-clinching road win against a rival.

Sedesse scored 11 of his game-high 22 in the fourth quarter to back a stellar defensive effort in Williams Valley's 57-40 non-league victory over Upper Dauphin on January 12.

In front of a packed gymnasium, the game was tight most of the night as the Vikings led 30-26 at halftime and 40-34 going into the fourth quarter. Led by Sedesse, who was 3-for-4 from the field in the quarter and went 4-for-4 from the foul line, Williams Valley (11-2) went on a 12-1 run, which was finished off by Colin Harrison's layup with 1:57 left in the game, making it 52-35.

Brendan Miller hit 1-of-2 from the line to start the run, while Harrison scored on a reverse layup off a baseline drive. Sedesse then hit a turnaround jumper in the paint, drained a 3-pointer from the corner after a Jansen drive and kick out and scored on a runner off a baseline move. He added four consecutive foul shots down the stretch to set the final.

"Sedesse turned it up a notch," Vikings coach Denny Kasper said.

As a team, the Vikings were 5-for-11 from the field in the quarter and were also 6-for-8 from the foul line. Williams Valley also battled through some foul trouble as Jansen picked up his fourth foul early in the second half and Owen Daniel fouled out with 3:24 left in the game.

"I knew that once Dennis got his fourth foul and Owen fouled out, I knew I just had to step it up and score a lot for the team to be able to pull out the victory," said Sedesse, who added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

The victory avenged the Vikings' earlier-season 49-46 loss to the Trojans in the championship game of the WQLN Tournament on Dec. 28 in Millersburg.

That was their last lost as Williams Valley has now won six in a row. The Vikings also qualified for the District 11 Class AA playoffs with the win.

"After halftime everybody started working just a little harder," Sedesse said. "We had kids in foul trouble and other kids stepped it up. The two kids (Ben Rautzahn and Nick Rodichock) who came off the bench helped us out a lot."

Harrison added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Daniel also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

Ian Buffington had 14 points and five rebounds for Upper Dauphin (8-4), which saw its seven-game winning streak snapped. Austin A. Weaver added a double-double for the Trojans with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

The night started out well offensively for Upper Dauphin as it shot 7-for-11 in the first quarter and led 12-4 early after a Weaver layup on an in-bounds play. But the Trojans had trouble finishing shots the rest of night as they were 3-for-28 (11 percent) from the floor the rest of game.

Upper Dauphin stayed in the game by hitting 20-for-26 from the foul line. But the poor shooting finally caught up to them.

After playing a lot of zone in the first meeting between the two, Kasper played man-to-man Saturday and stuck with it despite the foul trouble.

"Our defense was awesome," he said. "I felt at halftime we were in good shape. We were playing great defense. We got great minutes off our bench and we hit some shots."

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