For the third straight season and five in the past six, Coach Randall Edens’ Viking girls are headed to the State Basketball Tournament.
Lake made that a reality with District wins over Cascade 61-14 and Jackson 54-45.
The Vikings earlier celebrated winning Wesco North by a two-game margin. Lake (19-3 at the time of this writing) faced Monroe this week as the Vikings sought to defend the District title it won last season).
Lake 61 Cascade 14
The 47 point margin of victory was actually merciful, as Coach Edens removed Lake’s trapping press and played reserves for much of the second half.
Lake’s superior athleticism forced 22 first half turnovers (including 20 steals, eight by Brittney Pahukoa and six by her sister Brooke) as the Vikings blew out to a 17-4 quarter lead and 43-7 at halftime. It was 57-9 after three quarters. The “40 point rule” required the clock to remain running (except during free throws) after the margin reached that point. Lake scored 29 straight points in one stretch in the first half.
Bizarrely, the game’s high point honors went to Cascade’s Kianna Hood, who scored 13 of her team’s 14 points.
Brooke led Lake in scoring with 12 points, followed by Mahea Phua with 11, Abby Molstre with 10 and Katie Goddard with nine.
Corinne Burke had seven assists. Jolana Ziskovsky led Lake in rebounding with seven, followed by Molstre with six and Burke and Brittany added five apiece. Lake out-rebounded Cascade by 47-35 and had 13 turnovers to Cascade’s 28.
Lake made 24 of 63 field goals (including two of 10 threes) for 38 percent. Cascade made five of 44 field goals (including zero of 13 threes) for 11 percent. Lake made 11 of 12 free throws, Cascade four of 10. Lake was not awarded any free throws in the second half, as the referees silenced their whistles despite several obvious Cascade fouls, perhaps to speed the game along.
Lake 54 Jackson 45
With a trip to State/Regionals at stake against much taller Jackson (Lake is one of the shortest 4A teams in the state, with no true post-sized player) this proved to be an intriguing matchup.
A brilliant 13-point first period by Brooke (after an opening miss she made five straight field goals including a three-point play fed by Ziskovsky’s offensive rebound with 12 seconds left) gave Lake a 21-12 lead at the quarter break.
Lake’s shooting fell off in the second quarter but the Vikings managed to maintain a 31-23 lead at the half.
Jackson, which overcame a 19-point deficit to beat Stanwood in its opening game at District, made an inevitable run in the third quarter. Three baskets by Kristin Stoffel and a pair of threes by Kelli Kingma, including one near the end of the quarter, propelled the Timberwolves to a 43-42 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Jackson made nine of its 13 shots in the third quarter -- but that was to change very dramatically in the fourth.
Lake’s defense stepped up in the final eight minutes to smother Jackson, which after Kingma’s pair of free throws 28 seconds into the quarter for a 45-43 lead, did not score another point for the remainder of the game (missing all 10 of its field goal tries).
Thus, even though the Vikings made just four of 14 shots in the quarter, that was sufficient to slowly pull away towards a nine-point triumph.
Brooke, shaking off a shooting slump which followed her hot first quarter, tied the game at 45-all with a driving lay-in early in the period. Meghan Warbis put Lake ahead 47-45 with a lay-in assisted by Brittney at 4:21.
Brooke’s eight-footer at the three minute mark made it 49-45, and her nifty spinning assist to Warbis for a lay-in at 1:30 pushed the margin to 51-45.
A pair of free throws by Brooke and one by Burke in the game’s final 30 seconds created the final score of 54-45.
Both teams shot 38 percent from the field. Lake made 23 of 61 field goals (including zero of six threes), Jackson 18 of 48 (including three of 10 threes).
Lake made eight of 12 free throws, Jackson six of 10. Lake held its own on the boards, being outrebounded by only 39-35.
Significantly, Lake committed just one turnover in the second half, to four by Jackson. Overall, Lake had 10 turnovers, Jackson 18.
Burke had eight assists, Warbis five steals. Molstre had 12 rebounds, Warbis nine.
Brooke finished with 19 points, with the remainder of the scoring well distributed among her teammates.
Stoffel scored 16 points for Jackson, Kingma 15.