A resurgent Viking girls basketball team, reviving from their mid-campaign slump, swept two key home contests in Wesco North play last week, beating teams they’d lost to earlier this season. Lake rolled past Snohomish 52-24 and Arlington 55-41 to climb into second place in the standings, a placing they will consolidate if they can win their final two regular-season games this week.
The boys, meantime, split a pair of road games, beating Snohomish 58-53 and losing at Wesco North champion Arlington 70-62. The win over Snohomish all but clinched a playoff spot for the Vikings.
AT LAKE GIRLS 52 SNOHOMISH 24 (January 23)
Brooke Pahukoa returned to the Viking lineup after a six-game absence, her almost-healed broken pinky finger on her shooting hand heavily bandaged. Her teammates responded to her presence by blowing out the Panthers from the get-go. Although neither Brooke nor her sister Brittney figured significantly in the scoring (each finished with six points) Lake ran away with a 14-2 first quarter, expanded that to 28-7 at the half, then rang up the first 11 points of the third quarter to post an astonishing 39-7 margin, coasting the rest of the way.
Alex Briggs nailed a trio of three-point shots in the first half, finishing with 13 points overall. Though she missed all 11 of her field goal attempts Kali Long nonetheless was a major factor with 16 rebounds, five of six free throws and three assists.
Star of the game was Chelsea Pahls with 13 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
The Pahukoa sisters combined for 12 points, four assists, 12 rebounds and four steals.
Lake dominated the backboards, 47 rebounds to 31.
AT LAKE 55 ARLINGTON 41 (January 25)
Will 2012-13 be remembered as “A Tale Of Two Seasons”? If so, a prime example of that will be Lake’s games vs. Wesco North champion Arlington. The latter routed Lake 77-51 in the teams’ first meeting, literally bombing the Vikings with an astonishing 16 threes. This time around Lake suffocated the Eagles defensively, holding them to a single three enroute to a statement-making win.
Lake expanded its 24-19 halftime lead to nearly blowout proportions with a 10-0 run in the third quarter, featuring a pair of steals for lay-ins by Brooke. She and Brittney combined for 27 points. The latter also added 10 rebounds and four steals.
LAKE BOYS 58 AT SNOHOMISH 53 (January 22)
With a chance to make it into the playoffs on the line, Lake responded with a gutsy win in Snohomish. Lake, with six Varsity players suffering from flu symptoms, rose to the occasion with some heady play in the late going. Devin Stoen led the way by scoring four of Lake’s five fourth-quarter field goals (10 points overall in the quarter) including a basket at 1:44 which put Lake ahead for good, 52-50. Lake stayed ahead the rest of the way by converting all six of its free throws in the game’s final minute, a pair each by Stoen, Jared Rahn and Brice Dodge. Lake, which entered the game with a 54 free throw percentage for the season (one of the worst in school history), made 16 of 19 in the game.
It was close all the way. Lake led at the quarters by 9-5, 27-22 and 42-37 and didn’t shake off the Panthers until the final minute.
Stoen finished with 21 points, three assists and four rebounds. Rahn had perhaps his best game of the season, with 11 points, two assists, two rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot (and only one turnover).
Moussa Sanoh contributed eight rebounds (team high), five points, two assists, a steal and three blocked shots.
LAKE 62 AT ARLINGTON 70 (January 25)
Lake took a step backwards at Arlington, fading in the fourth quarter when it had ample chances to catch up to the high-flying Eagles. Nobody stepped forward when the Vikings most needed a big play, a problem in this season filled with close losses.
Lake made just four of 15 fourth quarter shots, including six consecutive misfires that allowed Arlington to maintain a five to 10 point advantage. Lian’s put-back with a minute left cut the gap to 65-60, and Rahn’s lay-in at the half-minute mark made it 67-62, but Lake failed to capitalize on its opportunities the rest of the way.
Arlington’s three-pointers (nine of them in the first half) shot it ahead by 20-13 at the quarter and 40-29 at the half, but Lake outscored the Eagles by 18-13 in the third quarter (after trailing at one point in the first half by 17 points) to climb within striking distance.
Lake wasted an outstanding all-around game by Lian, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Although Lake shot poorly throughout the game (32 percent, on 15 of 48 attempts), its suddenly improved free throw shooting (27 of 35) kept it in the hunt.
Stoen, and fellow guard Dakota Tomson, made just five of 24 field goals combined, scoring 11 points each and handing out four assists apiece.