Orcas Vikings nip Lobos in overtime

In an electric game played by the Orcas Vikings against the Lopez Lobos on Saturday, Jan, 10 at Orcas high school, the Vikings prevailed in overtime 54-48.

“We didn’t score at all in the first quarter,” said Coach Joe Duenn. “Lopez really shut us down, scoring seven points to zero over us. In the first half, we missed all kinds of layups and other really easy opportunities at the basket. We just could not capitalize. But we also never felt like we were out of the game. We just kept misfiring with shots at the baskets. Conversely, we weren’t giving them any ease under the basket either. Defensively our guys were in Lopez’ face even though they were outscoring us. We kept our nose to the grindstone and went for it.”

At the end of the first quarter, the Lopez Lobos led seven to zero. By the end of the second quarter Lopez was leading 20-7 and the score was 25-14, Lopez winning. But in the fourth quarter, Orcas used a full court press on Lopez, swarming the other team, which caused more turnovers and gave the Vikings a chance at more baskets. By that time, the Vikings were controlling the ball better and they rallied to win in overtime.

The Orcas Vikings traveled to Darrington on Tuesday Jan. 13 to play an away game, and will be in La Conner on Friday, Jan. 16 at La Conner. The Vikings will also play Foster High School at home on Orcas on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Coach Duenn commented, “We went into overtime, and Leidecker led our surge on the court in the fourth quarter. He came in and turned the game around starting in the third quarter. He was a great presence on the court and just through his team leadership, he was able to inject excitement into the game, supporting his teammates, and encouraging chatter. The guys really picked it up in the second half. Tyler Nigretto scored 12 of his overall 25 points in the fourth quarter, from defense, mostly; he also hit a three pointer in the fourth quarter and Shaw hit a three pointer as well in the same quarter. Leidecker had four points in the fourth quarter. This scoring drive was important, because we only scored 13 points in the first three quarters of the game, but scored 25 points alone in the fourth quarter. We stuck with it, and never gave up on our determination. Tyler Nigretto was our top scorer that day. He scored 25 points while Tyler Shaw put in seven points. We had seven different guys contributing to points on Saturday.”

Other players who contributed were Daniel Jansen, who provided a great defensive force on the court for Orcas. Jansen was in for most of the game and did a superb job of rebounding as well as clogging up the lane to the basket. He was able to alter the offensive routes of the players and blocked many shots so that the opposing team was not comfortable under or around the basket. Seadrick Wooding also had a great day as a guard handling the ball. “Daniel is just a great instinctive defensive player. Even our guys who weren’t in the game did a great job of lending encouragement to the team and talking to the team while the players were on the court. Their involvement really helps,” said Coach Duenn. “We managed to score 25 points in the fourth quarter, and that put us into overtime. The guys’ perseverance is what won the game.”

In free throws, Orcas made about 40% of those opportunities, or 10 out of 25 shots at the line. Coach Duenn observed, “We need to calm down and get confident at the free throw line. That’s hard for a lot of our players.”

Just for the sheer joy of playing, the Orcas basketball teams, boys and girls, went to a basketball tournament in Olympia, held on the 29 and 30 of December. Orcas was only able to take seven players due to the holiday, and lost both of their games against bigger schools, but it was great experience for the players and they just enjoyed being able to test their skills. Coach Duenn said, “We played the tournament for experience’ sake. We spent the night at the Northwest Christian High School and the girls team played in the tournament as well. By that time, most of the snow had melted. We were glad to get out.”

The Vikings also played Shoreline Christian on Tuesday, and though they played well and were in control of the ball and their game most of the time, they lost 61-57 in a hard-played game. “We let the game get away from us in the fourth quarter, but overall I felt the guys kept their heads in the game and didn’t relinquish their focus.”

The Orcas Vikings travel to Darrington on Tuesday Jan. 13 to play an away game, then La Conner on Friday Jan. 16 at La Conner. The Vikings will also play Foster High School at home on Orcas on Saturday, Jan. 17.

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