VIKING BOYS MAKE HISTORIC COMEBACKMIKE ANDERTON | CONTRIBUTING WRITER Lake Stevens Vikings beat Cascade and Snohomish to stay in league title hunt The Lake Stevens bench erupts as junior forward Shane Kaska’s three point shot goes in as the buzzer sounds to send the game in to overtime. The Vikings trailed the Bruins by as many as 21 points with 1:45 remaining in the third quarter. The Vikings defeated the Bruins in overtime 59-57 Tuesday night at Lake Stevens.
What may be the greatest comeback in school history kept the Lake Stevens boys basketball team in the hunt for the Wesco North championship last week.
Lake won a pair of home games, beating Cascade 59-57 in overtime after trailing by 21 points with 1:47 left in the third quarter, then beat Snohomish 54-42 with a solid performance of defense and fundamentals.
The two wins kept Lake (13-2 league, 16-3 overall) in a tie with Stanwood for the league lead, with one league game remaining, at Everett last Monday. Lake has earned the right to host an opening-round game of District play on Feb. 17.
Lake 59, Cascade 57 in overtime
Perhaps anticipating an easy win, Lake played its worst basketball of the season in the first half, committing nine first-quarter turnovers and playing virtually no defense, allowing Cascade to roll to a shocking 23-6 lead. Seven of Cascade’s nine first quarter field goals were lay-ins, three of them by Jamieson McDaniels. A Viking turnover with five seconds left in the quarter led to Anthony Barton’s steal and his being fouled on a three-point try with no time left. He sank all three of the freebies.
The score was five-all when Sean Stickney drew his second foul with 5:21 left in the first quarter, triggering an 18-1 Cascade run to close out the period.
It didn’t get a whole lot better in the second quarter where Lake scored only two baskets (by Stickney and by Sean Kaska) but McDaniels adding two more field goals from close-in, helping the Bruins to balloon their lead to 37-17 at halftime.
Two lay-ins by Barton at the outset of the third quarter twice expanded Cascade’s lead to 22 points, then Lake ran off seven straight points, on a three-point play by Stickney, a short jumper by Stickney, and a 17-footer by Ryan Legg, bringing the Vikings to within 41-26.
But Cascade quickly re-padded its lead and when Arvid Isaksen stepped to the line for a pair of free throws with 1:47 left in the quarter, Lake was trailing by 49-28. Isaksen sank both free throws and added two more when a Cascade player was issued a technical for “foul” language.
Lake was awarded possession after the free throws and turned it into a six-point play when Aaron Maw rebounded a missed Viking shot.
With 48 seconds left Kaska nailed a three to cut the gap to 49-37. The good-sized Viking home crowd was on its feet, making major noise, for the remainder of the game, helping to fuel the Viking comeback.
Maw’s driving lay-in made it 49-39 two seconds before the quarter buzzer.
Five points by Stickney and a basket by Kaska finished off an 18-point Viking run which made it 49-46 with 3:55 left in regulation.
Harrassing, in your face Viking defense rattled the Bruins into seven fourth quarter turnovers, resulting in Cascade being able to get off just two field goal attempts (missing both) in the entire quarter, and they fared little better at the line, missing six of eight in the quarter.
Lake, meanwhile, despite its domination of the game in every other aspect, was misfiring on shot after shot. After drawing within 49-46 with 3:55 left Lake made just one of its next 11 shots, six of them from three-land. Mike Schneider’s lay-in with 1:35 left cut the gap to 50-48. Corey Taylor made one of two free throws at l:05 to make it 51-48, following which Lake peppered the basket with three more missed shots, leaving it in possession out of bounds to the left of its basket with 2.7 seconds remaining.
Schneider passed to Kaska on the right side of the key, beyond the three point line, and the latter cast off a rainbow jumper which swished as the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime, and the crowd into hysterics.
With a ton of momentum on its side it seemed that Lake would take charge in the overtime, but that wasn’t entirely to be the case.
McDaniels made two free throws at 3:03 to regain the lead for Cascade at 53-51 before TJ Dodge tied it with two free throws of his own at 2:47, then he gave Lake a 55-53 lead at 2:18 on a lay-in, fed by Isaksen.
A Barton lay-in re-tied it at 55-55 at 1:18, being fouled on the play but missing the free throw.
Maw’s 12-footer with 42 seconds left made it 57-55, but Barton’s rebound basket with 15 seconds remaining tied it up once again.
Lake worked the ball for a final shot, which saw Legg drive into the lane, where he was collapsed upon by two (or three?) Bruin defenders, forcing him to try a virtually blind underhanded scoop shot which danced around the rim before falling home just before the buzzer, completing Lake’s miracle comeback.
The crowd exploded in bedlam and Legg was mobbed by his teammates. Lake’s hopes of a league championship remained alive.
Lake survived despite the absence of Stickney, who fouled out with 2:35 left in regulation and Lake trailing by 49-46, and of Kaska, who fouled out with 3:03 left in overtime and the game tied at 51.
Sheer guts pulled this one out, with reserves playing critical roles. Finley came off the bench in the second quarter putting physical defense on McDaniels and Barton. Stickney compiled his usual double-double, 19 points and 12 rebounds. Kaska had 15 points (including three of six from three point range) and 11 rebounds. Lake out-rebounded Cascade by 41-24. The Vikings committed 20 turnovers to Cascade’s 15.
Maw contributed eight points, four rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal, while TJ Dodge and Schneider had seven assists between them.
LAKE 54, SNOHOMISH 42 (Feb. 6)
Snohomish started off hot, making seven of its first 11 shots, enroute to a 16-10 lead after one quarter.
After that, Lake’s aggressive zone defense held the Panthers to 11 of 31, while the Vikings gradually found their own offensive rhythm.
Kaska kept Lake in the game in the early going, with four baskets in the first quarter. Three baskets by Blane Ortiz got the Panthers off to a fast start.
Snohomish missed its first six shots of the second quarter, while Lake closed the gap. Stickney scored Lake’s first three baskets of the quarter and Lake finally took the lead on Maw’s three pointer at the halftime buzzer, 23-22.
The teams played evenly in the third quarter, with Legg scoring two baskets and Isaksen’s nifty reverse lay-in near the end of the period making it 33-28 entering the fourth.