Lake boys split a pair of games in Wesco North basketball action last week, beating Edmonds-Woodway at home and losing to Kamiak on the road.
The two games were strangely similar, though the results were topsy-turvy.
The Vikings trailed Edmonds-Woodway at the half, but some red-hot shooting and precise offensive execution and keen defense after intermission led to a blowout win.
At Kamiak, the reverse was the case. After a halftime tie the Knights rolled to a relatively easy win.
Lake shot 69 percent in the second half against Edmonds-Woodway (18 of 26) while the latter converted just 21 percent (five of 24).
At Kamiak Lake shot 30 percent in the second half (eight of 27) while Kamiak went 16 of 23 (70 percent) after halftime.
The split left Lake half a game behind Snohomish in Wesco North at 5-2 (8-4 overall) and illustrated just how wide-open the race for the North title is this season. (Wesco 3A is another story, with Mountlake Terrace and Glacier Peak looking superior to all other Wesco teams, including 4A).
Lake’s drive for the title will be greatly enhanced once center Lorin Vandegrift, recovering from leg a injury, returns to the Viking lineup.
After a mediocre first half that saw Lake head to the locker room trailing by 28-26 the Vikings turned on the jets, outscoring E-W 21-8 in the third quarter and 19-8 in the fourth.
Especially hot in the second half was Kevin Smith who made six of seven shots, scoring 13 of his game-high 22 points. Brady Pahukoa, Christian Gasca and Jared Rahn combined to make seven of eight shots in the second half.
Tory Rothgeb had an outstanding game with six points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Gasca had 11 points, two assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Brady Pahukoa contributed eight points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
Dakota Tomson had six points, four assists, five rebounds.
All looked well for Lake as the half neared to an end with the Vikings leading by 31-25. But Kamiak scored the final six points of the half and added 12 more early in the third quarter for an 18-point run that essentially decided the game.
The Knights were sparked by the insertion of guard Nicholas Kussman into the lineup after halftime. Kussman, who had missed the previous six games due to injury, made an immediate impact, scoring 12 points and directing Kamiak’s fast-paced offense with which Lake was simply unable to keep pace.
Nor could Lake keep up with the inside-outside game of Imaan Vicente, who finished with 21 points.
Lake trailed 54-42 after three quarters and could come no closer than nine points after that. The final was 72-60.
A couple of Vikings posted outstanding stats. Pahukoa made seven of 12 field goals, finishing with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Gasca dished out a season-high 11 assists and had five rebounds and four steals.
But Lake’s outside shooting failed, connecting on just two of 18 from three-point range.