There will be no Tacoma Dome State Basketball Tournament this season for either the Viking boys or girls.
The boys were knocked out by Bothell 68-56 on February 21 at Lake Stevens.
The girls were eliminated by Skyview of Vancouver 72-56 last Saturday afternoon at Kent-Meridian.
Boys - Bothell 68 at Lake Stevens 56
Thanks to W.I.A.A.’s tinkering with the playoff system nobody was sure what to designate this “winner to the round of 16, loser out” game, except that it was do or die.
With a big, lively home crowd and the Viking Pep Band on hand, Lake looked to continue its playoff surge.
Instead, it was Bothell seizing the initiative at the outset while Lake seemed hesitant and half a step slow.
Bothell’s tall, lanky, slick guard tandem of Zach Lavine and Perrion Callendret, firing at will, combined for all 20 of their team’s first quarter points and a 20-9 lead.
Especially damaging to Lake were five Bothell steals in the quarter, all of which led to baskets.
Bothell’s hot shooting continued in the second quarter and it was 38-20 at halftime.
Kevin Smith’s three at the outset of the third quarter was a ray of hope, but Bothell responded with four straight baskets, and with 2:07 left in the quarter had its biggest lead of the game at 53-29.
But that was the start of a stirring Viking rally which got the crowd back into the game.
Lorin Vandegrift, returning to action after missing the previous 21 games with a leg stress fracture, scored a pair of lay-ins to reduce the gap to 53-33 entering the fourth.
Vandegrift, 6-8 senior center, was rusty at the start, missing his first seven shots before making those two baskets. He played only about 15 minutes but recorded a game-high nine rebounds.
Lake’s fourth quarter uprising was staged by three baskets by Dakota Tomson, two baskets each by Christian Gasca and Devin Stoen, and one by Smith. Tomson’s jumper at 2:04 cut the lead to 60-51 and shortly after that Smith missed a tough lay-in which would have cut the margin to seven points.
But Lake went cold after that and Bothell sealed the win at the line by making eight straight free throws down the stretch (11 of 12 in the quarter and 18 of 21 for the game, while Lake was granted only five foul shots all game long, making four of them).
Lake finished with two more field goals than Bothell (25 of 65 including two of 12 threes to the Cougars’ 23 of 54 including four of fourteen threes). Rebounds were even at 36 for each team while Lake, with only three turnovers after halftime, had 13 of those to Bothell’s 12.
Lake’s evenly balanced scoring had Smith and Tomson with 12 points each, Brady Pahukoa and Gasca with 10 each and Stoen with eight.
Callendret finished with 27 points, Lavine 25. The two combined to make 19 of 40 field goal attempts.
Thus the Vikings finished with a 16-10 record (10-5 in Wesco North).
Mark Hein and staff and the undersized but scrappy players deserve praise for a near Wesco North title and a trip deep into the playoffs. Had Vandegrift been in the lineup all season it is likely that Lake would have won the league title and perhaps advanced further in the post-season.
Girls - Skyview (Vancouver) 72 Lake Stevens 56 (At Kent-Meridian)
W.I.A.A.s decision to cut the round of sixteen (which used to be called State) to a one-day loser-out affair proved deadly to Lake.
Lake’s “reward” for winning its District championship was to draw a very big, very athletic Skyview of Vancouver team which has had an up and down season, very good at times, off-kilter at others.
Unlucky for Lake, the Storm had its “A” game on track in the first half, shooting 61 percent overall including 83 percent of its threes -- five of six in the latter department.
Skyview led 18-13 at the quarter break and 40-28 at halftime.
Lake seemed headed for a major comeback when it hit its first four shots of the third quarter to pull within four points.
Kali Long launched the rally with a three, and Katie Goddard, Abby Molstre and Brooke Pahukoa followed with baskets.
After Skyview upped the margin to seven points baskets by Brooke and Molstre brought Lake back to within 47-42, halfway through the quarter.
But three straight lay-ins by 6-1 sophomore Jocelyn Adams gave Skyview a 53-43 lead entering the fourth.
Lake rallied again. Dakotah Pilon hit a three to open the fourth quarter and another three by Goddard brought Lake to within 55-51 with 6:07 left.
Two lay-ins by 6-1 Katie Swanson made it 59-51 before Molstre’s lay-in at 4:44 cut that to 59-53.
Lake made just one basket after that. Adams ended Lake’s hopes with three baskets in the late going, two of them on put-backs in heavy traffic. The Storm converted nine of 12 free throws down the stretch (20 of 25 for the game, including 13 straight at one point, while Lake hurt itself by making just six of 13 at the line for the game).
Skyview shot 52 percent for the game (23 of 44 including six of 12 threes). Lake was 42 percent on 23 of 55 including four of eighteen threes.
Not surprisingly, the much taller Storm out-rebounded Lake by 34-25.
Adams’ “player of the game” profile included 24 points (18 of those coming after halftime) and 16 rebounds.
Lake committed 13 turnovers, Skyview 18.
Brooke led Lake in scoring with 14 points. She also had four assists.
Long, Lake’s tallest player at 5-10, had 11 points, nine rebounds, three assists and four steals.
Molstre had 10 points, two assists, three rebounds and five steals.
Brittney Pahukoa had six assists, three rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
Goddard scored 11 points.
Though Lake’s 22-2 season fell short of Tacoma, it was full of great accomplishments. A co-league title, a district championship, a number one state ranking.
Randy Edens and his veteran staff of Gil McKinnie, Steve Berg and Larry Palmer (more than half a century of coaching experience combined) have made Lake one of the state’s top programs, and with some fine talent returning next year Lake will almost certainly be back in the hunt again.