"I'm doing the best that I can to help this team right now," said the 6-foot-1 Strong, "but it's a team game and I couldn't have done it without my teammates. I feel I have stepped up as of late because I'm one of the returnees from last year that is still on the team.
"During the first part of the year I was forcing my game because I thought I had to but now I'm using the aid of my teammates to supplement my game," he continued. "I still feel I have a lot of responsibility, though."
Strong thinks the entire team played a part in the turnaround and it all began against Imperial on Feb. 2. Down five with 42 seconds to play, the Vikings scored the game's final eight points. While Strong had a big three-pointer that closed the gap to one, other Holtville players came up with free throws, steals and defense that helped seal the win.
"The Imperial game really turned things around for us," said Strong. "Everybody put their heads together and decided we had to turn things around now and winning in the last few seconds really opened our eyes that we had a chance."
The Vikings face Imperial again in their final game of the season — at 7 tonight — with DL and CIF playoff ramifications. A win would guarantee Holtville the top playoff seed from the DL by virtue of its second-round victory over Calipatria. A loss, coupled with a Calipatria win at home against Vincent, would drop the Vikings to second place and would mean it having to state its case to the San Diego section playoff board.
Strong is confident about tonight's game but realizes both squads have the playoffs at stake.
"The general consensus of most people is that they have confidence in us. The people on the team have guarded confidence," Strong said. "We didn't roll Imperial the last time we played them. It was a hard game. (Tonight's) game is going to be intense. They play a very similar style as we do. I think we have to spread the ball around and get everyone involved to win. I will take some of the responsibility in the game but one person can't be the team."