Montgomery holds its own but falls in Viking Classic final, 55-45

Montgomery Vikings' Michael Septimo scores in the second half of the game against Folsom on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at Montgomery High School. ( Photo by Charlie Gesell )

Montgomery Vikings’ Michael Septimo scores in the second half of the game against Folsom on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at Montgomery High School. ( Photo by Charlie Gesell )

By HOWARD SENZELL

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Folsom, ranked as one of the top five teams in the state, spotted host Montgomery a first-half lead Saturday night before storming back for a 55-45 victory in the championship game of Russ Peterich Viking Tip-Off Classic.

Montgomery led 15-8 after one quarter and the game was tied 28-28 at intermission.

Despite scoring only three points in the final period, the Vikings were down by just five with two minutes remaining.

Lane Young’s 3-point try from the corner could’ve tightened up the game even more, but the shot narrowly missed.
After that, Folsom increased the advantage from the free throw line.

The Bulldogs were favored to win the Peterich because the school returned a majority of starters from last year’s team that lost in the state Division 2 final and finished 32-3.

Montgomery coach Tom Fitchie was impressed with Folsom and also the play of his team.

“We gave them a good game,” he said. “I was especially happy with the way we played defense.”

Folsom point guard Jordan Ford finished with a game-high 21 points and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Michael Septimo led the Montgomery attack with 18 points while Jack Fitchie had 12. Erik Poulsen finished with nine.
Septimo and Poulsen were named to the all-tournament team.

Those two were responsible for the Vikings’ quick start. Septimo had eight points in the first quarter and 6-foot-11 Poulsen contributed five.

Folsom was the quicker team and turned up the defensive pressure after falling behind. Double-teaming bothered Montgomery and the Vikings made a majority of their 10 first-half turnovers in the second quarter.

Fitchie went into the three-day tournament unsure of how his team would do against the best field in the 15-year history of the Peterich. The Vikings graduated a number of key players from last year’s 24-7 team, including the Redwood Empire Player of the Year Alec Raven.

“I learned we’re pretty good defenders,” he said. “It’s very early in the season, but I liked the way we played against one of the best teams in the state.”

Montgomery (2-1) got to the final by defeating Acalanes and Campolindo.

Folsom improved to 4-0.

The third-place game went to Campolindo, 67-53 over Escondido. Monte Vista took home the consolation championship trophy by defeating Redwood 62 -48. McClymonds finished seventh with a 64-46 win over Acalanes.