Lake Stevens boys fell behind in last week’s road games, rallying in the fourth quarter to beat Cascade 69-64 but unable to do so at Snohomish, falling 54-44.
The split left Lake (13-2 in Wesco North, 14-5 overall) in a virtual tie with Stanwood for the league title with one regular season game left for the Vikings, at home versus Everett on Thursday (Senior night). Lake 69 Cascade 64 (Feb. 2)
Shane Kaska bailed the Vikings out in this one. The 6-3 senior forward/postman’s teammates were as cold as he was hot, as the stats clearly reveal. Kaska made 11 of 19 shots from the field (including five of eight threes) plus six of seven at the line for 33 points ––11 of those points coming in Lake’s fourth quarter surge. The other Vikings made 10 of 35 field goals (including two of 19 threes).
Cascade stayed close in the first half thanks to its hot shooting (64 percent), and stayed hot in the third quarter where it took advantage of eight Viking turnovers to forge a 56-48 lead entering the fourth. But it was all Vikings in the final eight minutes where Lake outscored the Bruins by 21-8 and held the latter to two of 15 from the field. Kaska scored seven points in the first quarter which ended with Cascade on top by 16-14 and he added 10 more in the second quarter as Lake edged ahead 35-32 at halftime.
But Cascade dominated the third quarter, outscoring Lake by 24-13 including 10 of 16 free throws to take its 56-48 lead. Lake was in big trouble.
Lake missed its first four shots of the fourth quarter but Mike Schneider’s lay-in and Jarrett Hanson’s three-point play narrowed Cascade’s margin to 56-53 with 6:19 left.
A Kaska three followed by his three-point play finally gave Lake the lead at 59-58 with 4:41 remaining. Maw’s lay-in with 3:09 left put Lake ahead for good at 61-60 and Kaska’s three at 1:05 made it 66-62. A pair of Maw free throws at the 22 second mark made it 68-64 and Cascade was unable to counter. Hanson’s free throw three seconds before the end sealed the final score at 69-64.
Kaska’s 33-point output equaled his season high and to that he added 11 rebounds, three assists and a steal. No other Viking was in double figures though Hanson had six assists and three steals, Arvid Isaksen had five assists and six rebounds, and Aaron Maw had four assists and three steals. Schneider had seven rebounds as Lake won that battle by 36-32. Hanson’s tight defense on Cascade guard Chris McGrath held the latter to 17 points. McGrath was zero for four from the field in the fourth quarter. Snohomish 54 Lake 44 (Feb. 5)
Snohomish scored the same amount of points as it did in the teams’ previous meeting this season, a solid 69-54 Viking win, but that was the only similarity this time around.
The Panthers commanded the boards by a 47-32 margin and Lake couldn’t find the bottom of the net, shooting a miserable 27% (17 of 62 field goals, including four of 25 threes). Lake couldn’t make its lay-ins (several hung on the rim and fell away) and its outside game deserted it.
This time Kaska could not rescue his team. He made six of 18 field goals including three of six threes for 15 points but only Schneider, with 10 points, backed him up in double figures. Maw and Isaksen, who have had several hot-shooting games this season, combined to make six of 38 field goals (including one of 22 threes) in the Cascade and Snohomish games. Snohomish, saw four of its five starters in double figures with the fifth adding nine points.
Lake fell behind early and seemed out of sync from start to finish, outplayed and seemingly befuddled. Still, after trailing by 38-24 entering the fourth quarter, the Vikings scrapped to come within six points, 43-37, on Kaska’s three with three minutes left. But Snohomish converted eight of 11 free throws down the stretch to salt the game away, winning by 54-44.
Lake floundered to single digit scoring in each of the first three quarters, trailing by 15-9, 27-17 and 38-24. The Vikings, which had not been outrebounded in its past dozen games, were manhandled in that department by Snohomish’s 6-6 Logan Steele and 6-5 Jonathan McGee with 13 boards apiece.
The Panthers grabbed offensive rebounds on 16 of its 31 missed field goals, many of them leading directly to second-chance points. Kaska, one of 4A’s shortest postmen at 6-3, pulled down eight rebounds for Lake while Schneider added seven.
Lake’s full court pressure defense did force 20 Snohomish turnovers (to 12 by Lake), as the Vikings came up with 13 steals. That was all that kept the game within striking distance, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Lake from posting its first sub-50 point game of the season, 20 points below its average.