Viking basketball boys beat Lynnwood, Mariner to boost playoff hopes
In a busy week for Viking basketball, the girls and the boys each solidified their hold on a playoff spot. Girls beat Kamiak 64-47, lost to Lynnwood 59-48, and beat Mariner 62-9 (yes, 62-9) to boost their Wesco North slate to 5-4 (9-6 overall).
Lake has played the past several games without leading scorer Brooke Pahukoa (20 points per game), expected to be out another two weeks with a finger injury.
The boys lost at Kamiak 74-64 then beat Lynnwood 87-70 and Mariner 52-51 in double overtime to pull one game ahead in the chase for the final playoff spot in Wesco North (4-5 in league, 6-9 overall).
At Lake boys 87 Lynnwood 70 (January 10)
A 51-point second half eased Lake past defensively-challenged Lynnwood in a helter-skelter, turnover filled scorefest which featured a double-double by Moussa Sanoh (12 points, 11 rebounds, three steals) and a scintillating debut by sophomore guard Neil Blaine.
Blaine, promoted from the JV squad, came off the bench late in the second quarter and had an immediate impact thereafter, making seven of 10 shots en route to a 17-point game.
Leading Lake in scoring was Devin Stoen, who netted 16 of his 20 game-high points in the first half -- which Lake needed in squeezing out a narrow 36-31 halftime margin. Stoen also had eight rebounds for the game.
Dakota Tomson had 15 points plus six assists, three rebounds, six steals and a blocked shot.
Ryan Lian had another solid all-around game with seven points, four assists, eight rebounds and two steals, as did Jared Rahn with eight points, three assists and five rebounds.
Lake led by 59-46 after three quarters then outscored the Royals by 28-24 in a wild fourth.
Lake 52 at Mariner 51, double overtime (January 11)
After several down-to-the wire losses this season Lake was finally able to win one at the buzzer. Dakota Tomson blocked a Mariner driving lay-in in the game’s final second and a subsequent close-in hook shot by a Marauder narrowly missed, preserving the one-point Viking win.
Devin Stoen had circled to his left around the key and fought his way to the bucket for a basket and a 52-51 lead with five seconds left, setting up Tomson’s game-saving block.
And there were other Viking heroes in this thriller, a close, physically-contended battle all the way. Standing tall among them was Sanoh, whose improbable three from the right sideline brought Lake to within 38-37 with less than 20 seconds left in regulation. Sanoh then stole the inbounds pass but missed a lay-in which would have given Lake the lead. Lake won the rebound scramble, leading to a shot by Tomson which missed but which was rebounded by Sanoh who was fouled while shooting with two seconds left.
Under extreme pressure Sanoh missed the first free throw but swished the second, sending the game into overtime.
The fun had just begun. Lake opened the scoring halfway through the first overtime via Ryan Lian’s put-back. Seconds later, Tomson’s three gave the Vikings a 43-39 lead, but Mariner’s Bayek Tutlam narrowed that to 43-42 with a three of his own at 1:45.
Sanoh’s lay-in made it 45-42 with 53 seconds left but Tutlam splashed another three to re-tie the score with 30 seconds to go.
Stoen’s basket from near the free-throw line put Lake back ahead with 12 seconds left , but once again Tutlam responded, sinking both ends of a one-and-one with five seconds left to send the game into a second overtime, tied at 47-all.
Lian’s three gave Lake a 50-47 lead with 3:35 left but as it turned out Lake didn’t score again until Stoen’s ultimately game-winning lay-in. Meanwhile, Mariner tied the game on Kiante Ahmad-Woods’ lay-in at 2:15 and took a 51-50 lead on the latter’s free throw at 1:34.
Lake missed four straight shots after that but a strong defensive stance forced a desperation clock-shot beating miss by the Marauders, setting up Stoen’s winning goal.
Both teams were cold-shooting for long stretches of the game. Lake struggled to a 17-16 halftime lead after trailing by 9-6 at the quarter break.
Lake threatened to take command of the game with three quick buckets in the opening minute after halftime, a short jumper by Tomson, Jared Rahm’s steal and lay-in, and an eight-footer by Stoen.
But Mariner, which had missed 10 of its first 11 threes, suddenly got hot from that range, sinking three straight, to retake the lead.
It took Tomson’s buzzer-beating lay-in to edge Lake ahead by 31-30 entering the fourth.
Stoen’s six-footer at the outset of the period made it 33-30 but the Vikings, beset by turnovers and poor free throw shooting, didn’t make another field goal until Sanoh’s three bailed them out after Mariner had grabbed a 38-34 advantage on Tutlam’s three with 43 seconds left in regulation.
Lake survived despite committing 19 turnovers and making just two of seven free throws for the game.
Sanoh’s 14 rebounds (five of them on the offensive end) and his five assists, two steals and two blocked shots together with his late-game heroics made him player of the game.
A senior forward from Africa, having not so much as ever touched a basketball until about five years ago, he has made remarkable progress and has become a Viking fan favorite.
The bulk of the scoring as always came from Stoen and Tomsom, with 16 points each. Lian’s all-around game included nine points and five rebounds.
Stoen had four assists and seven rebounds plus a steal and a blocked shot.