Four Hawks score in double figures as Viera pulls away from Lake Howell in second half

Viera High senior Casi Ramirez scored 12 points as the Hawks used a big second half to defeat visiting Lake Howell Friday night. Ramirez was one of four Viera players to score in double figures.

Locked in a tight game with Lake Howell, the Viera High girls basketball team decided to make a few changes on defense that would make the Silver Hawks a little less comfortable.

Wow, did that ever work out.

Viera’s defense stymied Lake Howell in the second half and four Hawks scored in double figures as Viera turned a four-point halftime lead into a 60-40 victory Friday night.

“We switched up our defense a lot,” Viera senior point guard Casi Ramirez said. “Coach (Josh Carmer) was really smart on what defense to play and I think that really kept them on their toes.”

Viera (12-4) got 14 points from junior Jacquelin Castro and 13 from Elaine Bell on the way to the win. Ramirez had 12 points and Morgan Mordas finished with 10.

“I think we did great,” Ramirez said. “This was one of the first games where we had an actual team effort, where everyone was ready to come off the bench and play. They really contributed what they were best at.

“We had some good rebounds out there. We had some aggressive drives and some great shots. I think was a really great team effort out there tonight.”

Lake Howell (4-5) came out strong, shooting at least 80 percent from the outside in the first quarter behind the strong play of senior guard Keegan Brace.

Viera, which led 19-18 after that back-and-forth first quarter, held a 31-27 advantage at the break when Carmer decided to switch tactics.

“We adjusted our defense to make them uncomfortable,” Carmer said. “They had to get the ball out of (Brace’s) hands. We got some defense out there that really opened up the game.”

That it did, all right.

Viera forced a number of turnovers, Mordas blocked several shots and when the Hawks were able to turn those plays into points with Ramirez, Castro and Mordas in particular showing some great chemistry and willingness to share the ball.

“There was a lot of good play out there,” Carmer said. “It really worked well when you saw the way we could get the ball in one of their hands, get the defense to spread and they knew just where to go and fed it to them. It worked really well.

“All three of them played together like a well-oiled machine, really sharp cuts and passes to get the buckets that you want to see out there.”

While that trio certainly played a big role for the Hawks, Viera got some big contributions from everyone who took the floor Friday night. Bell had a good night on both sides of the floor, as did Tricia Carmer, Tatiana Stephens, Avery Rouhoff, Nyla Patrizio and Emma Agcaoili.

It was the eighth straight win on the season for Viera, three of which came during the inaugural Heritage Holiday Classic tournament, that the Hawks won.

“I think we have a really great team chemistry this year,” Ramirez said.