The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Panthers and senior guard Ja’Von Cotton. Cotton scored the first eight points of the quarter and hit two 3-pointers to put the Vikings in a hold they wouldn’t be able to climb out of. The 1-3-1 zone defense that Elizabethtown employed was a problem in the final quarter for the Vikings couldn’t get the balance they would have liked. Wagler and Bullock (13 points) combined for 35 of the team’s 40 points. James scored three points, Chris Wittmer had two points and Duncan Roy had zero points and eight rebounds.
“I truly hoped they would go 1-3-1 against us,” Hughes said. “On the bus ride down here I thought I really hope they play that defense against us that I had seen them play, because I thought we would be able to handle it, but we didn’t handle it very well.”
The Vikings will hit the court next in the rivalry game Saturday at Jack Butcher Arena against the struggling Lions of Loogootee (3-8). A loss is never a good thing, but Hughes said his team can learn from this experience as they moved forward.
“I truly think our guys battled and played hard and that’s all you can ask for,” Hughes said.