Viera outmuscles Rockledge as Keith coaches against his former squad


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Viera High's Cooper Davis had 17 points to lead the Hawks past Rockledge 57-34 Monday night. The game marked the first time Viera coach Logan Keith faced his former team.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

Logan Keith can’t be blamed if he felt a little strange during pregame warmups.

His Viera boys basketball team was about to play Rockledge — the team he guided for 13 years as the head coach and for two years before that as the junior varsity coach.

“I’m old school — this wasn’t about me,” said Keith, whose Hawks improved to 4-6 after a convincing 57-34 victory against the Raiders.

“It’s bittersweet. I grew up with those guys. I worked with some of them since third grade. We’ve got a love for each other. It doesn’t matter where I’m at. We’ll always have a love for each other.”

After Charleston Robinson drove the middle for a layup to trim Viera’s lead to 22-19 in the opening minute of the third quarter, the Hawks scored 10 unanswered points to build a 13-point lead at 32-19 with 3 minutes, 58 seconds to play in the quarter.

James Goffigan converted a 3-pointer from the left side, Cooper Davis followed up his own miss, Blake Starrett hit a 3-pointer from the left side and Manny Luma capped the flurry with a fast-break layup off a nifty pass from Alec Eugene.

The 6-foot-7 Davis dominated the inside to lead the Hawks with 17 points. Tyler Cooney came off the bench to score 12 points and Luma added 11 points.

“Cooper has such a high IQ out there,’’ Keith said. “He was in some situations where he could have fouled. He was never in foul trouble and that allowed me to keep him in the game longer.’’

Davis converted a shot in the low post, drove the left baseline for another field goal and concluded the six-point flurry with a fast-break layup as Viera broke Rockledge’s full-court press.

Starrett’s 3-pointer from the right corner capped the 10-0 run as Viera extended its lead to 42-24 with 5:52 to play in the contest.

“The defense was something we put in last week,’’ Keith said. “We have worked hard on it. I’m glad we had a chance to use it.’’

Troy Patrick led the Raiders (8-4) with seven points. Keion Brooks and Amari Harrison each added six points.

“There was no real reason why I left Rockledge,’’ Keith said. “I was 37 years old and I was just ready to change it up. I want to see if we can build what we had there here.’’