Pilgrims notch back-to-back wins over Vale

Vale's Kade Haueter gets set to block New Plymouth's Nick Woods in a non-league game last Friday in Vale. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

VALE – No one could blame New Plymouth basketball coach Jeff Lavender if he was confident his Pilgrims could notch another victory Friday night against Vale.

Just two days before, the Pilgrims took control early to scorch the Vikings 81-56 in New Plymouth.

Yet Lavender said he held no illusions about Friday night’s contest against a Viking team that is beginning – after a slow start – to settle into the hoop season. Lavender said he expected a tough contest Friday night.

“I told our guys that Vale is tough, and it was going to be a battle,” said Lavender.

Lavender was right.

Friday night’s non-league . . .