Playing without leading scorer Dakota Tomson (back spasms), Lake Stevens boys basketball team continued a familiar pattern last week—losing a pair of close games.
Lake lost 65-61 at Mt. Vernon on December 18 and lost at Monroe 57-55 on December 20.
Lake, now 1-3 in Wesco North and 2-5 overall, has been in down-to-the-wire contention with a chance to win in all of its losses this season but has been able to win only one close game (vs. Snohomish) so far.
Lake nearly overcame the absence of Tomson in the lineup at Mt. Vernon, pulling ahead 32-25 at halftime on Brice Dodge’s three just before the buzzer.
Lake, which trailed 14-11 at the quarter break, pulled ahead 27-25 late in the second quarter on Devin Stoen’s mid-range jumper then added to the lead via a pair of free throws by CJ Lat prior to Dodge’s three.
The Vikings notched their biggest lead at 34-25 early in the second quarter, but the bigger, more athletic Bulldogs rallied to cut that to 42-39 after three quarters (including a basket that seemed to come after time had expired in the quarter yet was allowed by an official).
As happened in the loss to Arlington earlier in the season Lake seemed to lose its legs in the fourth quarter, where Mt. Vernon posted a 26-19 margin to pull out the 65-61 win. A three by Ryan Lian at 1:12 brought Lake to within 62-58, and another three by Dodge at the 53 second mark made it 62-61. Moussa Sanoh’s three with five seconds left and Lake trailing by 63-61 could have given Lake the win but it was off the mark and Mt. Vernon snared the rebound and made a pair of three throws to cinch the game.
Stoen scored 19 points for Lake, along with eight assists. Sanoh scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds. Lat also nabbed 10 rebounds for Lake, which out-rebounded Mt. Vernon by 37-34.
Each team had 11 turnovers in the relatively cleanly-played game.
Same story, similar verse at Monroe on Dec. 20, where Lake blew a ten point halftime lead to the Bearcats who outscored the Vikings by 41-29 in the second half to steal a 57-55 win.
Lake, which once again played without Tomson, had three double-figure scorers in the game, Stoen with 12 and Lian and Lat with 10 each.
Girls basketball win two
Viking girls shook off losses in their previous two games to blow past Mt. Vernon 72-37 on December 18 and Monroe 60-46 on the 20th, both games played at Lake.
Lake had no trouble at all vs. Mt. Vernon, leading by 40 points (64-24) after three quarters. Brooke Pahukoa with 15 and Alex Briggs with 14 paced the Vikings in the scoring department.
Against a decent Monroe team two nights later Lake rose to the occasion to play well in all areas, leading by 16-8, 27-20, 48-27 at the quarter breaks before winning by 60-46.
Sophomore forward Emily Vandegrift dominated the backboards with 17 rebounds, 11 of them offensive. She also had two assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Lake’s 42-23 command of the rebounding was a key to the win.
As usual, Brooke Pahukoa led the Viking scoring parade with 22 points, plus five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
Kali Long had a quietly efficient game with 12 points, six rebounds, two assists, a steal and two blocked shots.
Brooke Pahukoa had seven points, six assists, two rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot.
The wins evened Lake’s Wesco North record at 2-2 (5-2 overall). With 10 games remaining in league play Lake is still in contention for the title.