Viking boys win at CascadeThey head to Phoenix for the holidays MIKE ANDERTON | CONTRIBUTING WRITER Lake Stevens boys finished the 2007 Wesco North segment with a 63-51 win at Cascade on Dec. 21.
The Vikings improved their league mark to 3-1 (4-1 overall), before they headed to Phoenix for a holiday tournament.
Defense has been the key to Lake’s success so far this season, and that held true at Cascade, where the Vikings, with Jordan Carter and others harassing him, held Bruin sophomore guard scoring whiz Chris McGrath to 16 points. McGrath opened the game with three quick baskets, then was held without a field goal until about halfway through the fourth quarter, going zero for six from the field.
But even with McGrath held in check, this was a typical grind-it-out win for the Vikings, who didn’t put the game away until the late going.
Lake has a pretty good sophomore of its own, Shane Kaska, who outscored his Bruin rival 17-16 to take game scoring honors.
Balance, once again, was the hallmark of Lake’s offense. While some Vikings struggled to emerge from the shooting woes that cost Lake a win in its previous game, against Marysville, others picked up the slack.
After the first quarter ended in a 12-all stalemate, Cascade took a 21-15 lead in the second period before Lake launched a 17-point run which produced a 28-21 halftime lead.
Seven different Vikings contributed to that scoring streak, which was topped off by a pair of Kurisu baskets to open the second half. Kurisu, had a perfect touch on this particular evening; four for four from the field, two for two at the line, for his first double-figure output of his career.
After Lake expanded its lead to 36-24 Cascade rallied to cut the gap to 41-34 after three quarters, and the Bruins remained pesky after that, with McGrath popping in 10 points in the final four minutes. The Bruins were within 57-51 with 31 seconds left, before Lake closed out the scoring with six of six free throws for the 63-51 final margin.
Lake made 14 of 16 free throws in the quarter, obviously a key factor in the win, as was its 35-33 rebounding margin for the game (the first time this season that it had led in that department).
Lake’s signature harassing defense produced 22 Cascade turnovers, which included five steals by Carter and three by Mitch Shoemake.
Kaska hit eight of 13 field goals in his 17 point night, and along with his team-high seven rebounds he had two blocked shots.
Lake’s 20 baskets resulted from 20 assists -- you can’t have a higher assists-to-baskets ratio than that 100 percent. Leading in this department were Dustin Adams with six, followed by Carter with 4 and Ryan Legg with three.