Lake Stevens boys edged closer to a repeat Wesco North championship with a pair of blowout home wins last week, 97-47 over Marysville and 59-37 against Oak Harbor. The wins kept Lake (12-1 in league, 13-4 overall) a game ahead of Stanwood in the chase for the title, to be determined by forthcoming tough tests at Cascade and Snohomish.
Lake 97 Marysville 47 (Jan. 26) Lake barely beat the Toms earlier this season, 50-47, but by halftime this time around the Vikings had already surpassed their point total for that entire game.
With its press causing seven turnovers in the first quarter (to none for Lake) and its shots kissing the net (Lake made 11 of 24 field goals in the first quarter and finished with 36 of 73 for the game, including a record-tying 11 of 22 threes) Lake blew out to a 29-14 at the quarter break and 51-28 at halftime.
After that, the Viking offense didn’t slow down but the defense picked up, as Lake outscored Marysville 47-19 in the second half. When Mike Schneider swished a 35-footer at the third quarter buzzer it put Lake ahead 78-37 and the energized home crowd started calling for a 100-point game.
Most surprising in Lake’s total domination was its 51-24 rebounding advantage over taller Marysville (23 to six in offensive rebounds). In the teams’ first meeting Marysville won that battle, 40-37. Lake, one of Wesco’s shorter teams, has become in the second half of the season one of the league’s best, if not the best, in that crucial area. Fourteen points by Shane Kaska in the first quarter equaled Marysville’s entire output in that period, while Jarrett Hanson added nine points.
Aaron Maw and Kaska opened the second quarter with threes, and Lake’s only miss in its first six shots of the quarter was rebounded in by Arvid Isaksen. Marysville’s only answer was sophomore forward Ryan Shannon who scored 10 points in each half. Lake led 51-28 at the break.
Maw scored a pair of lay-ins to start the third quarter, with Isaksen, Hanson, Zac Isreal and Schneider contributing threes in the period.
Reserves played the final six minutes for Lake, but the 100-point game was barely denied when they missed five of six free throws (Lake had been 13 for 14 up to that point).
Viking fans had to be content with the 97-47 win. All 10 Vikings who played put points on the scoreboard. Kaska took only two shots after halftime but still notched 25 points together with seven rebounds, four assists, five steals. Maw had 12 points, five assists, five rebounds. Hanson had 14 points, three assists, three rebounds, two steals. Isaksen’s 13 points including eight for eight at the line, plus five rebounds. Schneider’s game featured five points, seven assists, a team-high nine rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
Lorin Vandegrift came off the bench to score eight points and grab five rebounds. Jerodan Dodge had five rebounds, two assists, three steals. Seth Dodge, in just five minutes of action, snared six rebounds. Lake snared sixteen steals, with most of them leading directly to Viking points. Lake 59 Oak Harbor 37 (Jan. 29)
Such was Lake’s dominance in this game that Oak Harbor left feeling it had gained a “moral victory” of sorts when it held the Vikings even after halftime, 24 points apiece.
Lake was ahead 45-14 with five minutes left in the third quarter when Kaska, called for a phantom fourth foul, went to the bench.
Oak Harbor ran off the final 10 points of the quarter and Lake didn’t score again until Maw made a lay-in with 6:52 left in the fourth.
Kaska returned to action to score six points in the quarter for a game-high 21 points as Lake coasted to the 59-37 win. Kaska also led Lake in rebounding with 11, along with two assists, two blocked shots and a steal. Isaksen’s 16 point total came on six of nine field goals including four of six threes; he also had three assists. Schneider as usual was Lake’s unsung hero. A reluctant shooter (he scored just four points), he dished eight assists (with just one turnover) and had seven rebounds. Equally important, he held Oak Harbor’s top scorer Michael Washington, Jr. to a single basket in 11 attempts while he was guarding him. Washington finished with eight points on two for 13 overall.
Lake outrebounded the Wildcats 36-28 and hit on exactly half of its field goals (25 of 50, including nine of 19 threes) while Oak Harbor went 13 of 50 for 26 percent (including two of 14 threes). In a statistical oddity that will never be “topped,” the Vikings did not take a single free throw. Oak Harbor was nine of 14 at the line.