Hawks struggle from the line in loss to Astronaut


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Viera High's Alec Eugene (No. 2) drives to the basket during Wednesday night's game against Astronaut. The War Eagles won the game 55-43.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

There were two sets of numbers that helped decide Wednesday night’s boys basketball game between Viera and Astronaut.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, neither one favored them.

Astronaut raced out to a 16-4 first quarter lead and benefitted from Viera’s 6-for-22 performance at the free throw line to come away from a 55-43 victory.

“We didn’t do a lot of things right in between, but I feel like if our first quarter was a little better and we shot better from the free throw line, I think we win that game,” new Viera boys coach Logan Keith said.

“I think we definitely played hard enough to win. We’ve just got to start putting the pieces together. It’s not going to happen overnight.”

It was just the third game of the year for the Hawks under Keith, who spent the previous 15 years – 13 as the head coach – at Rockledge. And the vast majority of the roster was either on the JV team or did not play last year.

“This is a young team. We’re going to get it together,” senior center Cooper Davis said. “Sometimes you have a night like that where nothing seems to go in.

“It happens. It just happened against a good team tonight. It’s not going to be acceptable if you want to win.”

Tyler Cooley led Viera (1-2) with 11 points. Menny Luma had 10 and James Goffigan had nine.

After falling behind by 12 after the first quarter, the Hawks did a good job of playing the War Eagles (2-0) evenly the rest of the way. But every time the Hawks started to make a run, Astronaut would get a steal or a big rebound and basket to push the lead back up.

Davis, who scored six points in his first basketball game in two years, was admittedly a little rusty. But just like the Hawks, he will only get better as the year goes on.

“I felt like I personally performed OK,” he said. “Still knocking a little dust off. It’s been a minute (since I last played) and I’m getting in shape again. But the season’s going to be fun.”