Viking boys basketball team won both of its games last week, 58-45 over Marysville-Pilchuck and 58-50 against Evergreen of Seattle (White Center).
The games, played at Lake Stevens, featured wildly divergent third quarters.
Lake outscored Marysville-Pilchuck 21-6 in the third quarter, but was otherwise outscored 39-37 in the other three quarters combined.
The opposite happened against Evergreen. The Wolverines outscored Lake by 22-8 in the third quarter, including a 20-0 run to close out the final 5:35 of the quarter, wiping out a 17-point Viking win to take a 42-39 lead. But Lake reversed that in the fourth quarter, outscoring Evergreen by 19-8 to come from behind for the win.
Some of this craziness may be attributed to Viking 6-8 center Lorin Vandegrift being sidelined with a leg injury. Lake has had to scramble to make up for his loss, and in the process has at times been out of sync. But the bottom line is that Lake has been able to win all four of its games since its big center has been out of action (he is tentatively due to return in early to mid January).
Lake finished the first round versus Wesco North opponents at 4-1 (7-1 overall). The Vikings trail undefeated Snohomish by one game.
At Lake 58 Marysville-Pilchuck 45 (December 20)
What started out as a blowout (Lake took an 8-0 lead in the game’s first two minutes) turned into an uncomfortably close battle throughout the first half as the Toms looked like the more determined and focused team.
Lake missed its final nine shots of the quarter, its only scoring in the last six minutes coming from a pair of Tory Rothgeb free throws as MP took an 11-10 lead.
Lake led by 27-24 at halftime, then put the game away with a 21-6 flurry in the third quarter.
Two more baskets by Smith helped push the lead to 20 points in the fourth quarter before MP cut the final margin to 58-45.
Gasca finished with 10 points, eight rebounds (six of them offensive), three assists, two steals and just one turnover.
Smith scored 15 points along with four assists, four steals, four rebounds (and yes, four turnovers).
Devin Stoen had 12 points, three assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Brady Pahukoa’s line featured nine points, eight rebounds and no turnovers.
At Lake 58 Evergreen 50 (December 22)
A very odd game in which Lake led by 11-7 after one quarter, 31-20 at halftime, and by 39-22 with 5:35 left in the third quarter.
With Lake up by 17 it looked at that point like Coach Hein’s main worry was how to get everyone on the roster plenty of playing time.
Then everything went wrong. Lake didn’t score again in the quarter while Evergreen racked up 20 consecutive points to lead by 42-39 entering the fourth.
During its run Evergreen made eight of 10 shots while Lake was missing all nine of its attempts.
But the Vikings righted the ship in the fourth.
Stoen’s nifty drive to the bucket on Lake’s first possession of the period cut the deficit to a point, then both teams went cold.
Lake missed its next four shots while Evergreen missed its first five of the quarter. Pahukoa’s 16-footer at 5:22 finally regained the lead for Lake at 43-42.
Lake never trailed after that. Dakota Tomson’s lay-in at 4:50 made it 45-42, and consecutive lay-ins by Pahukoa and Stoen upped the margin to 49-44 with 3:17 left.
Tomson nailed what turned out to be the game-winning three at 1:42 for a 52-49 Viking lead.
Stoen followed that with his second great drive to the bucket of the quarter, to make it 54-49 with 53 seconds left.
Two free throws apiece by Stoen and Smith in the final 30 seconds sealed the 58-50 win.
Pahukoa’s five rebounds in the final three minutes keyed the win. He was clearly “player of the game” with 16 rebounds (six on the offensive end), nine points, two assists and three steals. Even more important was the defensive job Pahukoa did on Evergreen’s Campbell, helping hold the outstanding 6-4 junior pivot to 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Stoen led Lake in scoring with 16 points. Tomson made five of seven field goals (including two of three threes) for 12 points. Gasca and Smith had four assists each.