Improving Hawks run past Cocoa Beach, 61-47


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Viera High's Cooper Davis (in white) gets fouled during Wednesday night's boys basketball game between the Hawks and the Cocoa Beach Minutemen. Viera won the game 61-47.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

At the start of the season, Viera High boys basketball coach Logan Keith reminded his players that the year is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

Now, deep into the regular season, the Hawks are clearly still learning … but they’re also much better.

That was clear Wednesday night in Viera’s 61-47 victory over the visiting Cocoa Beach Minutemen.

Viera used a huge second quarter to take a 22-point halftime lead over Cocoa Beach, then extended that advantage to 30 points early in the third quarter before the Minutemen rallied to tighten things up.

“We’ve just got to be able to close out games,” Viera coach Logan Keith said. “I think in the first 4-5 minutes of the third quarter, we should have finished what we started in the first half.

“But we’re learning. That’s the fun thing about coaching this team. There are a lot of learning opportunities every day. As a coaching staff, we have to make sure we’re on top of our game to make sure we’re giving them the right stuff.”

Junior guard Blake Starrett led the Hawks (7-9) with 16 points. Junior forward Tyler Cooley and senior center Cooper Davis both had 14.

Junior guard Kile Lin had eight points – all in the second quarter when the Hawks outscored the Minutemen 26-10.

“I think we played pretty well,” Starrett said. “We moved the ball pretty well. Defensively, we could have picked it up a little bit.”

The Hawks have certainly had their moments this season. After starting off 1-4, Viera defeated Melbourne and Rockledge throughout the course of the year.

After Wednesday night’s win, Viera has now won three of its last four games and has already eclipsed last year’s win total of six.

“We started off kind of rough, but as we made our way through the season, we got better and developed a little bit more,” Starrett said. “We got a lot better. (We’re playing) better defense, definitely (better) ballhandling and we definitely don’t have as many turnovers.”

The Hawks certainly flashed some strong play in the second quarter as their defense forced numerous turnovers and Viera hit five 3-pointers – three of them by Starrett.

The next step for the Hawks will be to become more consistent.

“It’s just having those flashes for a longer amount of time,” Keith said. “And when we’re not playing so well, let’s shorten that time up and get back on track.”

The Hawks will be back in action on Friday when they are scheduled to host Bayside (8-8) at 7:30 p.m.