Viking girls mounted a late-season surge with three straight wins to pull within a couple of games of second place Snohomish in Wesco 4A North, with four league games remaining.
If Lake can secure the second place spot it would avoid facing either Lynnwood or Jackson (who beat Lake on its home court by 37 and 35 points respectively earlier this season) in the opening round of the District playoffs.
Lake’s biggest win of the season to date came at home on January 17 versus Edmonds-Woodway by 75-66 as Kali Long notched 32 points on 13 of 19 shooting.
Lake’s other wins in the streak were blowouts, 58-36 at home versus Cascade on January 15 and 54-15 at Mariner on January 25.
Lake Stevens boys basketball secured its first Wesco 4A North win of the season on January 25, a home-court 61-56 victory over Mariner (last place team in Wesco 4A South).
Lake came out looking confident and playing aggressively at the outset, surging to an 18-11 lead at the quarter break and 38-22 at halftime. The lead expanded to as much as 23 points in the third quarter which ended with Lake on top by 56-35.
Then came the fourth quarter.
Lake, exhibiting its major weakness, lack of experience (having only one player with significant Varsity playing time from last season, and only two seniors overall), reverted to its losing ways, committing 10 turnovers in the quarter and allowing Mariner to dominate play as the latter surged to a 21-5 scoring margin which cut the final gap to 61-56.
Had Mariner not missed six of its 10 free throws in the quarter it might have pulled out the win.
On the positive side, Lake played its best ball of the season for the first three quarters, shooting a red-hot 65 percent in the first half (17 of 26, including three of three from three-point range).
Leading the attack was freshman Trey Pavitt, scoring seven of his 16 points and garnering eight of his 13 rebounds by halftime, and sophomore Dante Lewis, who notched all 12 of his points in the first half, on five of six field goals including two of two threes.
Coach Mark Hein played all 12 Vikings in the first half and all made positive contributions.
Four quick points by Pavitt expanded the lead to 20 points early in the third, and when Garrett Glick nailed a three near the end of the quarter Lake had its biggest lead at 56-33.
The fourth quarter was a completely different matter as Mariner scored lay-in after lay-in and Lake was unable to take care of the ball. Time ran out on the Marauders with the scoreboard favoring Lake by just 61-56.