Islands' Sounder


Vikings head to play-offs | Basketball

By MARTY ZIER Islands Sounder Sports contributor
February 5, 2013 · 8:53 AM

Viking Hannah Brunner-Gaydos. / Contributed photo/ Melanie Flint

The Viking girls and boys basketball teams ended the final stretch of the regular season last week with losses to LaConner but two wins against the Darrington Loggers at home games with ecstatic Orcas fans in the bleachers.

Both Viking teams advance to the 2B Bi- District Playoffs next week at Chief Leschi High School in Tacoma, Wash.

The Viking girls (6-6) lost a close contest to the LaConner Braves (15-4) in a fight that came down to the wire on Jan. 29. Tied at 22 at halftime, the Braves edged ahead 32-29 at the end of the third quarter. With 2:58 left in the fourth quarter and leading 42-35, the Braves appeared to have the game under control, but a late run by the Vikings ended just short, with a 42-39 loss.

“We lost by only three and at the end of the game our shots weren’t dropping, but it was a good game,” said Coach Gregg Sasan.

Scoring was led by Bella Nigretto with 15 points, Hanna Brunner-Gaydos 8, Shelbi Rogers 7, Alicia Susol 6 and Lana Bronn 4.

The Viking boys (5-7) faced a LaConner boys team (18-1) that has dominated 2B basketball for the last few years.  The Vikings kept it close in the first quarter, down only six points credited to good defense, but the Orcas team could not keep pace with the well-tuned Braves, losing 92-35.

Orcas scoring was led by Jack Gates with 17 points, Devon Stanzione 10, Jack Russillo 6, and Daniel Briggs 2.

Opening “Senior Night” at Orcas Island High School, the Viking girls (7-6) faced a tough Darrington Loggers team (17-3) that beat Orcas in December.

In the first quarter Bronn and Nigretto combined for nine early points while defensively Garcia blocked two shots, ending the quarter behind 11-10. Despite most Viking shots rolling off the rim and trailing 15-10 with 5:12 in the second quarter, Susol kept the Vikings in the game. She knocked out nine points in the quarter along with a three-pointer from Bronn, ending the half ahead 24-23. An Orcas run in the third quarter, helped with five points from Shelbi Rogers, gave the Vikings a 29-23 lead with 5:09 left, but the experienced Loggers ended the quarter tied 31-31.

Tied again at 37-37 with 5:22 left in the game, the Vikings cranked up an amazing team effort for the remainder of the fourth quarter to put away the Loggers. Brunner-Gaydos wrestled in the paint for seven physical fourth quarter points along with two three-pointers from Susol and two layups from Nigretto, icing the game 54-39.

Orcas scoring was led by Susol with 17 points, Bronn 11, Brunner-Gaydos and Nigretto both with 9, Rogers 7 and Garcia 1.

The Viking boys (6-7) coming off two losses faced an improved Darrington Logger team (3-17) looking to avenge their home loss against Orcas. The Vikings stumbled a bit in a low scoring, defensive first quarter, down 10-6 against an aggressive Logger team.

Orcas guard Jack Gates found his shot in the second quarter, scoring nine points, helped with three from Zier and two each from Date and Russillo, but Darrington wing Eric Meece kept the Loggers ahead, ending the half 28-22.

Not letting the game get away, Orcas nudged their way to the lead, 29-28 with 5:52 left in the third quarter, helped by ten points from Gates and five from Zier. But the confident Loggers regained the lead 43-37. Coach Josh Mayson called a time out with .08 seconds left in the quarter in an attempt to end the quarter with a score. In-bounding the ball at half court, Date launched a 40-foot pass to Zier for the layup, ending the quarter down 43-39, but erupting the crowd in applause.

Tied at 47-47 with 4:00 left in the game, the Vikings surged to a 52-47 lead with 2:58 left, but the Loggers rallied, down only 56-54 with 24 seconds left. Fouled with seconds left, Drake hit a key free throw to put the Vikings up 57-54. According to Mayson, the Orcas boys last made the playoffs in 2007 when he was a player.

Orcas scoring was led by Gates with 34 points, Zier 14, Date 4 and Russillo 2.

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