Seemingly physically and emotionally drained from its double overtime win over Edmonds-Woodway the previous Tuesday, Lake Stevens boys were overwhelmed in the first half by Arlington in the District Tournament at Jackson on February 18, losing 70-54.
The loss ended Lake’s season just a game short of advancing to Regional/State.
In a nightmare first half for the Vikings, they found themselves trailing the hot-shooting Eagles by 23-10 after one quarter and 50-25 at halftime.
The extent of Arlington’s domination in the first two periods is reflected in the halftime statistics. Arlington shot 59 percent on 20 of 34 from the field (including four of nine threes) and six of eight at the line, while overwhelming Lake on the glass by 23 rebounds to seven.
To its credit, Lake was the better team in the second half, outscoring Arlington by 29-20. But poor shooting, from the field where it went 11 of 31 (35 percent) including one of 11 threes) and from the free throw line (six of 12), prevented the Vikings from cutting the deficit enough to seriously scare the Eagles, who played a relatively slow-down game after halftime and coasted to the win.
Lake finished with 20 of 53 field goals (including four of 22 threes) for 38 percent, and 10 of 19 at the line (this season’s team compiled one of the worst free throw shooting percentages in memory). Arlington was 27 of 50 (including six of 12 threes) for 54 percent. The Eagles controlled the rebounds by 42 to 26. Lake committed just nine turnovers to Arlington’s 17.
Dakota Tomson, Lake’s top scorer for the season, rounded out his outstanding sophomore campaign with 14 points. Brady Pahukoa, a junior, had 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Christian Gasca, a junior, had four assists and two steals. Lorin Vandegrift, a junior, had five rebounds in limited playing time.
Note that all of the above will return next season, together with a handful of others, marking Lake as an early favorite to contend for the Wesco North title.
Though no official league rebounding figures have been released, senior Gunnar Eklund almost certainly led Wesco this season in that category. He sat out much of the first half against Arlington because of foul trouble but still notched his usual double figure board count, with 10.
Arlington’s top scorers were Terry Dawn with 19, Eric Carlson with 17 and Beau Brummel with 12.
Mark Hein’s Vikings finished the season at 13-11, falling just one point shy (vs. Monroe at District) of advancing to Regional/State. Not bad, considering that Lake didn’t return a single player who saw much playing time with last year’s Wesco North and District champion team. Most encouraging was Lake’s outstanding play in the playoffs -- experience from which can only help the Vikings next season.