The Viera Hawks continued their hot streak Thursday night, but that wasn’t the highlight people were talking about afterward.
Just prior to Viera’s 71-33 victory over Space Coast, the Hawks celebrated Senior Night by honoring James Goffigan, Manny Luma, Blake Starrett, Kile Lyn and Tyler Cooley.
“It means a lot,” Lyn said. “I’ve been playing basketball all my life, and for three years, I watched everybody else do their Senior Night.
“It’s an honor to do mine. It was a great experience. I loved it. It was fun.”
Each senior was presented a framed jersey prior to the game, and all five started the game, helping the Hawks get off to an 11-0 lead.
Lin would finish with 13 points to lead the seniors on this night. Starrett had 10, Cooley had 10, Luma added four and Goffigan had three.
Junior Avery Keith was the top scorer on the night for the Hawks (11-6) with 14 points.
“(Tonight) was really special,” Viera coach Logan Keith said. “We had five seniors that, when I got here (last season), since Day One have been 100 percent bought in.
“They define hard work. They work so hard. Weight room, shooting workouts … everything we’ve ever asked of them, they’ve always done it. That’s special to me. They’re one of my first groups of seniors. It’s going to be sad to see them leave.”
Before they go, the seniors would love to add another district championship and a deep postseason run to their resume. And they’re certainly playing like all of that is possible.
After taking a 14-9 lead in the first quarter Thursday night, the Hawks blitzed the Vipers with a 29-5 run in the second to take a commanding 43-14 lead at halftime.
“I think we played good,” Lin said. “We really executed what Coach Keith wanted us to do. It’s all about just listening to what Coach Keith has to say and playing to our best ability.”
It was Viera’s sixth straight win since coming back from winter break.
“The last few weeks, we’ve been rolling,” Logan Keith said. “During the holiday break, we played an extremely tough schedule. That was kind of by design. I think we got a lot better from that.
“Now, we’re just trying to stay healthy, stay away from COVID and get another chance to play.”
Among those six wins was a 53-42 victory over a highly-regarded Astronaut team that helped give the Hawks a lot of confidence.
“That was a good win,” Logan Keith said. “The funny thing is, I think going in, our guys expected to win the game. We never got rattled. Shot the ball OK. We weren’t great shooting the ball that night, but defensively, we played really well.”
Viera won’t have much time to think about Thursday night’s win. The Hawks are scheduled to play at Melbourne Friday night in what should be another big matchup.
But Senior Night is one of those games you will remember for a long time, especially when it’s a special one like Thursday night’s game was.
“It was a fun night,” Lin said. “The team altogether was really supportive. It was just fun to be out there with my family, and my brothers. It was a fun experience.”