December 11, 2013 | Vol.53 N.49

Viking basketball boys, girls seasons underway

Viking basketball boys and girls seasons got underway last week with the boys winning one of three and the girls dropping their one encounter.  All of the games were non-league.

Woodinville 63 at Lake boys 41  (December 3).

 With just one returning player (senior forward C.J. Lat) who saw significant playing time last season, Coach Mark Hein fields a very young, very inexperienced squad which must improve game by game if it is to challenge for a playoff berth in Wesco 4A North.

Lake looked very much like a work in progress in its opener vs. Woodinville on December 3, a game witnessed by a sparse crowd but enlivened by Neil Proff’s rollicking Viking pep band.

Lake was as cold at the outset as the sub-twenty degree weather outside, making just four of 25 field goals in the first half, trailing by 20-7 at the quarter break and 32-14 at halftime.

With slick sophomore Tony Miller scoring the Falcons’ first nine points (on his way to a 30-point night) Lake didn’t make its first basket until 2:55 of the first quarter, a three by sophomore Dante Lewis.

Struggling to find an effective combo of players, Lake finally put together a competitive third quarter, where it outscored Woodinville by 17-14 to cut  the margin to 46-31.  Threes by Lewis, junior Neil Blaine, and sophomore Josh Perry fueled Lake’s rally.

Lat’s lay-in at the start of the final quarter made it 46-33 but following his disqualifying fifth foul at 7:10 Woodinville quickly ran off a dozen consecutive points, 10 of them by Miller, to put the game away.   

Despite the final 63-41 margin Lake was outshot overall by just 36 percent to 33 percent and outrebounded by only 45-39.  But turnovers proved to be a major factor in the blowout, with Lake committing 22 to Woodinville’s nine.  Fourteen of Lake’s turnovers came via steals.

Perry with 12 points and Lewis with 10 led Lake in scoring.  Leading Viking rebounders were Lat and junior Justin Brown with seven each.

Kennewick 71, Lake boys 45  (at Cavelero Mid-High, December 6)

Lake held Kennewick to a 32-30 second-half margin after the visitors from Eastern Washington bounded out to a 39-15 halftime lead.

Blaine with 15 points was Lake’s only double-figure scorer. 

Lake made 17 of 45 field goal attempts, Kennewick 29 of 63.  The latter connected on 10 threes, Lake on five.

At Lake boys 63, Delta Secondary (British Columbia) 57  (December 7)

Balanced scoring and a 20-11 second quarter scoring margin highlighted Lake’s first win of the season.

Lake trailed 12-9 after one quarter then surged to a 29-23 halftime lead. The visitors climbed to within 46-43 after three quarters but Lake widened that to 63-57 at game’s end for an important morale-boosting victory.

Blaine scored 12 points for the Vikings, Lewis and sophomore Braden Ash 11 each and Brown 9.

Shorewood 48 at Lake girls 35  (December 4)

The post-Pahukoa twins era got off to a tentative start verus Wesco 3A Shorewood as Lake was able to muster just 35 points in its season opener.

To nobody’s surprise, the bulk of Lake’s scoring came from its two main returning “bigs,” Kari Long and Emily Vandegrift, with 18 and nine points respectively.

Lake led 24-22 at halftime but was outscored by 10-2 in the third quarter and 16-9 in the fourth.

Coach Randall Edens’ Vikings, state championship contenders in recent years, will fly under the radar this season, having been picked to finish no better than third (behind Arlington and Snohomish) in Wesco 4A North.  If Lake can find some consistent mid-range scoring and develop its defense as the season progresses, it may pull off an upset or two along the way.  

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