Lake Stevens girls came close to bringing home a trophy from last week’s State Basketball Tournament at the Tacoma Dome, winning one game and falling just short of a second victory which would have placed them in the top eight.
The Viking boys, entering the tournament on a hot streak and fully expecting to improve on last year’s eighth place finish at State, fell short of their potential, dropping both of their games. Lake boys finished at 18-7, including a second straight Wesco North championship (sharing the crown with Stanwood this year). A highlight of its season was its 81-77 win at Jackson in the District tournament, in which it overcame a 22-point first quarter deficit -- the Wolves went on to finish second at state. The girls rallied from a 1-4 start to finish 19-7, including the District Championship to gain its fourth berth at State in the past five years.
Lake girls 52 Rogers/Puyallup 47 (March 3)
Lake overcame first-game jitters and 17 missed lay-ins to overtake Rogers down the stretch, a typical gutsy performance for the Vikings, who recorded their eighteenth win in their past nineteen games. Lake made just five of 21 shots in the first quarter and eight of 33 in the first half and trailed 13-12 at the quarter break and 27-21 at halftime.
Schumacher hit a three to open the game but Lake missed 11 of its final 12 shots of the first quarter and its last six shots before halftime, yet the Vikings trailed by just six at intermission. Lake edged to within 34-35 after three quarters, keyed by reserve freshman Pahukoa’s three baskets and a pair by Schumacher, one of them a three.
The Vikings finally took the lead just 21 seconds into the fourth quarter on a pair of Molstre free throws. A minute later, Pahukoa scored on a steal to put Lake ahead by 38-35. Two free throws by Bostwick at 6:05 completed a 10-point Viking run.
The Rams cut Lake’s lead to 44-42 on Asher’s three followed by Jones’ steal and lay-in at 3:40, and they twice pulled to within one point, the final time on Van Den Berg’s lay-in with 37 seconds left. But the Vikings, a good free throw shooting team, stayed ahead and finally pulled away by converting 14 of 19 free throws in the fourth quarter, including a pair by Peterson with twelve seconds left for the final 52-47 margin. Another key to Lake’s win was its pressure defense which forced the Rams into nine fourth quarter turnovers, and 29 for the game.
Lake, with its top rebounder Warbis unable to play because of the ankle injury she suffered in the district tournament, was outrebounded by 42-35, but Molstre stepped up to record a game-high 13 boards for the Vikings. Typically, the well-balanced Vikings had only two double-figure scorers, Pahukoa with 12 and Schumacher with 11. For Rogers, Williams scored 19 and Jones 15.
Bostwick, Pahukoa and Burke combined to nab 10 of Lake’s 15 steals. Lake finished with 16 of 57 field goals for 28 percent, to Rogers’ 20 of 52 for 38 percent. Lake was 17 of 25 at the line, Rogers six of eight.
Lake girls 47, Issaquah 7 (March 4)
The Vikings inevitably ran into a superior opponent in the State quarterfinals: Issaquah, champion of Kingco’s Crest Division.
Lake stayed in contention only until about midway through the first quarter when a barrage of Issaquah threes added up to a 22-8 cushion for the Eagles at the quarter break. Issaquah nailed six threes in the first half. Guard Schiltz almost singlehandedly did in the Vikings, sinking six of eight threes, and scoring 20 points for the game. Though the Vikings stayed pretty much even-up with the Eagles the rest of the way, they couldn’t overcome that big first quarter deficit, trailing 39-26 at halftime and 54-40 after three quarters.
Schumacher scored nine points for the Vikings, while Pahukoa, Bostwick and Peterson netted eigth points apiece. Warbis returned to the lineup to play 10 minutes, during which time she scored five points and had five rebounds. Bostwick’s eight caroms led Lake to a 35-34 edge in that department.
Lake made 17 of 49 field goals for 35 percent, to Issaquah’s 24 of 52 for 46 percent.
Lake 44 Chiawana/Pasco 52 (March 5)
Lake made a furious bid for a trophy, rallying from a 37-18 deficit with 5:30 left in the third quarter to pull within 43-42 and standing at the free throw line with a chance to take the lead with 2:11 left in the game. But it was not to be. Both free throws were missed and Chiawana converted six of six at the line in the game’s final 42 seconds to salt away the 52-44 win.
Lake put itself in a hole at the outset of both halves, being outscored 11-0 and 12-0. The Vikings, with poise, character and courage, fought back to make a game of it.
The Vikings chopped that 11-0 deficit to 11-10 at the quarter break, behind threes by Katie Goddard and Schumacher, the latter a rare four-point play with 44 seconds left in the quarter. Lake, cold-shooting again, made just one field goal, a Schumacher three, in the second quarter, to fall behind by 25-18 at halftime.
Chiawana’s Mikaela Rivard opened the third quarter with 10 consecutive points in a two and a half minute span. Her three with 5:30 left made it 37-18.
Lake chipped away with a 13-4 run to close out the quarter to come within 41-31 at the quarter break. Burke with a three and Pahukoa with a three-point play, a rebound basket by Warbis, a lay-in by Pahukoa resulting from her twin sister Brittany’s steal, plus Schumacher’s nailing of all three free throws after being fouled, accounted for the points.
Lake’s defense did an outstanding job of keeping the ball out of Rivard’s hands in the fourth quarter, while Brooke Pahukoa’s two lay-ins and pair of free throws brought her team to within 41-39 with 4:56 left. Burke’s three at 3:06 got Lake to within 43-42, and when Brooke Pahukoa stepped to the line for a pair of free throws with 2:11 left Lake could have taken the lead. But she missed both, and Lake’s only two points of the game were her two free throws with 38 seconds left to pull Lake within 49-44. Those were Lake’s last points of the season, as the Riverhawks secured the 52-44 win with six straight free throws down the stretch. Schumacher and Brooke Pahukoa each scored 14 points for Lake, which made 10 of 33 field goals for 30 percent, to Chiawana’s 17 of 47 for 36 percent.
The Vikings, who were outrebounded by 39-26, were led in that department by Warbis’ seven.
Lake boys 47 Eastlake 69 (March 3)
Lake came into this game having averaged 75 points in its previous four outings but could never find its offensive rhythm at State.
Despite a promising start, in which Lake took a 15-11 lead after one quarter, Lake’s production fell off after that in virtually every phase of its game.
Eight turnovers in the second quarter led to Eastlake outscoring Lake by 18-9 to take a 29-24 halftime lead. More turnovers in the second half (11 for Lake, five by Eastlake) combined with poor shooting by the Vikings (zero of ten from three-point range) and some defensive lapses which led to easy Eastlake lay-ins, made the outcome inevitable. The Wolves were up by 54-34 after three quarters and pretty much coasted to the 69-48 win. Michael Russo, averaging 25 points in the post-season, lived up to his billing. The 6-5 forward scored 21 points and took down 14 rebounds.
A.J. Maw scored 12 points for Lake on just eight shots. Shane Kaska scored 11 points on five of 15 shooting. Kaska, with 10 rebounds, added another double-double to his resume.
Lake, which has struggled at times this season with its free throw shooting, made just four of 10 at the line, while Eastlake took full advantage of its opportunities there, making 16 of 19. Lake held the Wolves even on the boards, 38 apiece, but 22 turnovers to 14 for Mead was a significant factor in Lake’s demise.
Maw’s overall game included six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Lake made 21 of 54 field goals for 39 percent, to Eastlake’s 24 of 63 for 38 percent.
Lake boys 45 Mead/Spokane 52 (March 4)
Lake’s lack of height (Kaska at 6-3 in the post) finally caught up to it big-time in this game as Mead pounded the glass to the tune of a 50-27 rebounding advantage including 25 to five on the offensive end. Even so, Lake had its chances to win the game in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get it done.
After missing nine of its 11 shots in the first quarter, to trail by 10-7 at the break, Lake’s shooting finally heated up. The Vikings made seven of 12 field goals in the second quarter including three of four threes. Isaksen opened the quarter with a lay-in, and Kaska’s three gave Lake a 12-10 lead with 6:48 left in the half. Two more Kaska baskets and a rebound put-back and a three by Jarrett Hanson kept Lake ahead 21-20, and when Maw nailed a three about a minute before halftime Lake took its biggest lead at 24-20. It was 24-22 at intermission.
Mead took 22 shots to Lake’s eight and out-rebounded Lake by 16-6 in the third quarter, yet the Vikings trailed by just 35-34 at the break. Threes by Kaska and Maw (the latter scored seven of Lake’s 10 points in the quarter) kept the game close.
Kaska’s hook shot gave Lake a 36-35 lead with 7:40 left, and his three at 6:06 put Lake on top by 39-36, but those were to be the last points of his great Viking career. He stepped to the line with 3:33 left and the game tied at 40-all but missed both attempts. A pair of Mitch Kayser lay-ins, the latter at 2:54, put Eastlake on top by 44-40. Maw’s three at 2:35 cut that to 44-43.
Aaron Dunn’s put-back at 1:28 made it 46-43 and his pair of free throws with 34 seconds left increased that to 50-43.
Mike Schneider drove to the basket for a lay-in with 28 seconds to go but Lake couldn’t score after that. Mead made two of four free throws thereafter to close out the game at 52-45. Lake made 16 of its 43 field goal tries for 37 percent, to Mead’s 18 of 59 for 31 percent. Lake made five of nine free throws, Mead 15 of 24. Lake had 17 turnovers, Mead 16. Kaska scored 19 points for Lake, Maw 13, while Dunn had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Mead. Isaksen led Lake in rebounding with eight, while Kaska and Schneider had six each.
Will Lake be back at State next season?
Mark Hein’s boys lose its entire starting lineup to graduation, but have some upcoming talent from Wayde Knowles’ 15-4 JV team and Ric Cook’s 18-1 frosh squad, plus returning center 6-7 Lorin Vandergrift, who will be a junior next year. Look for the Vikings to improve as the season goes along.
Randall Edens’ girls have some key talent returning including Brooke Pahukoa who as a freshman improved steadily this season. Lake could once again challenge for a league title and a return trip to the Dome.