The Orcas Vikings hosted Cedar Park Christian Friday and the Concrete Lions Saturday, with the girls winning both games and the boys losing two.
The Viking girls (5-5) breezed past Cedar Park (2-12) racing ahead 22-3 in the first quarter and 32-19 at half. Cedar Park only had six players, so the Vikings had no trouble ending the game 58-33 with their starters retired after the first quarter.
Coach Gregg Sasan said the game was training for the younger players who often don’t get much court time.
“This was a chance to play our whole bench, the younger girls got to play a lot and they played well,” he said.
Contrary to the Viking girls, the boys (5-5) faced a Cedar Park (17-1) team that may be the strongest team in the league.
“Like LaConner, this is a team that shoots the lights out,” said Coach Josh Mayson.
Orcas kept it close in the first quarter, down only 21-15, but Cedar Park’s defense kept Orcas to 9 points in the second quarter and eliminated all outside shooting. By half, Cedar Park had displayed their remarkable shooting, stretching the margin 44-24.
A strong 22-point Viking third quarter was matched by a 23-point Cedar Park response, ending the quarter 67-46. Viking forward Herbie Sisson had a strong fourth quarter coming off the bench to score 8 points, generating cheers from the Orcas crowd despite the loss 84-62.
“I felt our defense played well. It’s just hard to guard so many good shooters,” Mayson said.
Orcas scoring was led by Jake Zier with 24 points, Jack Gates 18, Sisson 8, Devon Stanzione 5, Rylan Date 4 and Daniel Briggs and Jack Russillo both with 1 point.
An excellent first quarter by Bella Nigretto helped the Viking girls (6-5) crack the Concrete Lions (8-8) early, leading 19-13 in the first quarter. But early foul trouble benched Viking Alicia Susol while a sprained ankle sent Hannah Brunner-Gaydos to the sideline.
Shelbi Rogers picked up the slack, nailing two three pointers, helping the Vikings stay even with Concrete, scoring 14 points each in the second quarter, ending the half 33-27.
With 1:25 left in the third quarter, the Lions capitalized on rebounding, excellent free throw shooting and out-hustled the Vikings to narrow the lead 46-43.
However, flush with all starters back on court, the Vikings tightened their defense and exploded with a 24-point fourth quarter, putting away the Lions 72-54.
“This was a must win game for us,” Sasan said. “Now we go into third seed of the district playoffs, we shot 100 percent from the free throw line and we played as a team. The bench helped us out when we got in foul trouble and all the girls played hard.”
Orcas scoring was led by Nigretto with 24 points, Rogers 16, Susol 12, Brunner-Gaydos 11, Lana Bronn 3, Aliviah Garcia 2 and Kilee Rogers and Emily Jackson both with 2.
The Viking boys (5-6), having narrowly beat Concrete (6-9) earlier in the season, knew this game would go down to the wire.
The Vikings trailed 15-14 in a competitive first quarter, led by Viking forward Devon Stanzione with six points, but were outscored by the Lions 13 to 6 in a dismal offensive second quarter for Orcas as their offense sputtered, hindered by guard Jack Gates benched due to foul trouble.
Starting the second half down 28-20, the Vikings regained their offensive composure with five different players scoring, but still ended the third quarter down 44-35.
Needing a strong fourth quarter to catch the Lions, only Viking forwards Daniel Briggs and Jake Zier could muster any points, as the Lions slipped away with a win, 59-46.
“This was a game we could have won,” Mayson said. “We need to focus on our offensive plays, we need more guys to score, blocking out rebounds and reduce our turnovers.”
Orcas scoring was led by Zier with 17 points, Russillo and Stanzione both 8 each, Gates 7, Briggs 4 and Date 2.
The Vikings next play at LaConner.