Viera girls use energy, communication to blow out visiting Melbourne

Viera High's Jacquelin Castro goes up for two of her game-high 16 points Tuesday night as the Hawks defeated the visiting Melbourne Bulldogs 62-14.

Viera High senior center Jacquelin Castro may have said it best Tuesday night:

“We run on energy.”

And while the Hawks may not have started out as well as they would have liked, despite scoring the game’s first 12 points, there was certainly nothing wrong with the way they finished off the visiting Melbourne Bulldogs.

Castro outscored the entire Melbourne team herself as Viera rolled to a 62-14 home victory.

The second half finished with a running clock, but for a Viera team that is working with a younger, revamped roster after five seniors graduated from last year’s team, it was the way the Hawks were able to play together as a unit Tuesday night that was perhaps the most satisfying.

“Our communication really showed tonight,” junior forward Tricia Carmer said. “Everyone was talking. I could hear someone always. We hustled back, too.

“… The bench was key. The subs brought the energy and communicated. Everyone really flowed well together.”

Castro finished the game with a game-high 16 points for Viera. Freshman Phantasia Lauriston had 14 points.

Carmer and senior guard Sariah Aquino Seppelt both had eight points. Sophomore center Lauren Bell scored seven points while junior guard Nyianni Mathis had four points and sophomore guard Haley Power had three.

“It was rocky at first with a couple of not-good passes and turnovers,” Castro said. “But we cleaned it up a lot. We started talking. Communication was the key to tonight, I feel like.”

Viera certainly dominated on the defensive end, getting steals and forcing Melbourne into numerous turnovers.

The Hawks led 19-4 after the first quarter and 35-10 at the half.

“We’ve worked hard in practice,” Castro said. “We’ve worked for these moments.”

Despite holding a big first-half lead, Viera coach Josh Carmer felt his team gave up a few plays it shouldn’t have defensively and encouraged his team to pick it up in the final two quarters.

He was pleased with the result.

“In the first half, that’s what I told them – ‘You guys have to sharpen it up and turn up the intensity’ – because they were being a little too soft on defense,” Josh Carmer said. “The second half, they really came out and I was proud of the way they played defense. I told several of them that.

“… Overall, we made a great game out of it. We tried out a lot of things.”

The Hawks (3-3) will certainly get a much tougher test on Thursday night when they are scheduled to host the Palm Bay Pirates (5-3).

Viera will certainly be looking to build off its performance from Tuesday night.

“Energy and communication are our main things,” Tricia Carmer said. “Defense comes from both of those.”