Ocracoke Observer staff report
Following a thrilling victory over Jones Senior High School two days earlier, the Ocracoke Dolphins met their match against the West Columbus Vikings.
The varsity boys Dolphins ended their basketball season and quest for the state 1A championship title Feb. 23 in a home game against the Vikings of Cerro Gordo, Columbus County.
This was the second round of the 1A Eastern Division state tournament. Although the Dolphins gave the Vikings a run for their money, they ultimately lost 62-49.
Once again, for the second time in two games, the team was led by a trio of scorers: Rahnier Lyons with 17 points, Landon Fuller, 12, and Finn Kattenberg, 11.
By comparison, in the first tournament game against the Trojans, Lyons scored 27 points followed by Kattenberg with 19 and Fuller with 18.
Unique Kelly led the Vikings in scoring with 24 points followed by Randell Durden with 14 and Jaylen Bellamy with 13.
Although competitive in the first two quarters, trailing 37-32 at halftime, the Vikings retained their lead and led for the rest of the game.
“Their speed and their athletic ability hurt us,” said Coach Frank Moore. “They got a lot of second-opportunity shots. We didn’t shoot particularly well. More power to them. They’re a good team.”
In the first round of the state tournament, the Dolphins beat the Jones Senior Trojans 74-70 in a packed gym of loud cheering fans at home on Feb. 21.
The Trojans had trouble containing Lyons, who consistently made low post bank shots. Clutch shooting by Fuller, Kattenberg and Lyons in the fourth quarter made the difference.
But on Feb. 23, the Dolphins couldn’t seem to get many open shots as the Vikings kept close tabs on them and stopped Lyons from making as many of the low post banks shots of the prior game.
“They just out-hustled us,” Lyons said after the game. “It was just an off night.”
“They were quick,” Gavin Elicker added.
The Dolphins ended the season with a first-place finish in the 1A Atlantic 5 Conference, and an overall season 14-10 and 10-3 at home.
The last time the Ocracoke varsity boys’ team was in the second round of the state championship was in 2018.
Last year, the Lady Dolphins made it to the second round of the state championship.