UMATILLA - The Umatilla Vikings weren't very hospitable hosts to the Condon Blue Devils as the Vikings boys team ran away with a 64-35 victory in the opening round of the Umatilla Tournament.
The Vikings will play Helix tonight for the championship.
The Vikings used a smothering defense to shut down Condon, limiting the Blue Devils to 12 points at halftime.
Umatilla's commitment to defense could spell trouble for plenty of future opponents.
"We didn't make the state tournament last year because we didn't play defense," Vikings coach Tony Villanueva said. "This year we're going to play some defense. Defense wins championships. Offense gets you places, but defense wins championships."
Both teams struggled a bit offensively in the first half as Umatilla took a 24-12 halftime lead. The Vikings' leading scorer from last season, Tony Villanueva Jr., sat a good portion of the first half.
"That doesn't help us when he's the leading scorer in the league last year, but he wasn't doing what I asked," coach Villanueva said. "I think he got it in the second half. He can dominate a game like that."
Villanueva scored a game-high 15 points in the final two quarters, showcasing his inside-outside ability by hitting a pair of 3-pointers and also banging inside the paint.
Chris Wyland and Daniel Adams each chipped in 11 points for Umatilla, which got plenty of players into the game.
"I played everybody and I thought everybody played well," Coach Villanueva said. "We're getting there."
Umatilla's half-court trap caused numerous Blue Devil turnovers and led to 14 steals for the Vikings, some of which were converted into easy baskets on the other end.
"Our trap worked well," coach Villanueva said. "We have three traps and that was just one of them. It was effective so we never went to any of the others."
Condon received 12 points from Riley Anderson while Teren Humphrey added eight.
The Blue Devils will face Elgin at 2:45 p.m. today in the consolation game.
The Vikings and their coach are looking forward to the meeting with the Grizzlies as Coach Villanueva and Helix coach DeWayne Dunlap are both from Athena and the two teams have a number of players that are friends.
"I enjoy when we play Helix," Coach Villanueva said. "We're going to come out and try to do the same thing; put some pressure on them and see if we can't dictate what they do."