It has been a tough go of it this season for the Vinalhaven boys basketball team.

Not only were the Vikings winless as they headed into their Wednesday, Jan. 17 road game with Penobscot Bay-neighbor North Haven, but the shadow of the undefeated and defending state Class D champion Viking girls is a tough one to escape.

Alas, the Viking boys have taken it all in stride. And Wednesday, finally made a notch in the win column with a 61-49 high school court victory over the host Hawks.

“It’s been a long stretch for us,” said Vinalhaven coach Josh Miller. “We’ve really struggled and played pretty poorly. We’ve had a lot of turnovers this year and we’ve killed ourselves often with any chances we might have had [to get a win].”

Miller said it was the play of senior Keon Arey, who pumped in 27 points — 17 of which came in the crucial third quarter — “which really changed the game for us" against North Haven.

Along with Arey’s offensive efforts, Elijah Ames added 12 points, Mikael Stone, nine; Tim Farrelly, six; Mitch Hopkins, four; and Joe Hopkins, three.

For the Hawks, Tyrese Edwards and Brandon Brown scored 15 points, while Vincent Colvino added 10; Peyton Cooper, seven; and Sean Haskell, two.

The Vikings were 12-of-20 (60 percent) from the free-throw line, while the Hawks were 3-of-6 (50 percent).

“It was a good matchup,” said North Haven coach Luke Brown. “My boys just didn’t show up to play. If we had worked into the post a little more, we could have made a better showing. Brown and Arey are a good matchup and the game was mostly in their hands. We just couldn’t seem to get the ball inside to [Brown] enough.”

The Hawk coach said he hopes “we can play the game I know we are capable of at our next meeting,” which will be on Tuesday, Jan. 30 on Vinalhaven.

Miller added, “It was good for morale to get a win.”

“We’re pretty lighthearted and we like to joke about it, but everyone is thrilled to finally get one,” he said. “And as bad as the season has been, we’ve been trying to tell them you control your own fate. If we win out or win four of our next five games, it's still a possibility to make the playoffs."

In the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Class D South, North Haven (3-7, 3.6111 points) is 10th, while Vinalhaven (1-12, 3.5417 points) is 11th. Valley of Bingham (9-2, 47.7778 points) is first in the 12-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.