by Marty Zier
The Orcas Island boys basketball team beat the Seattle Lutheran Saints 65-50 on Feb. 16 during the WIAA 1A/2B District playoffs at Sedro Woolley High School.
“We had never seen Seattle Lutheran play. They hadn’t lost a game in two months,” said Coach Corey Wiscomb. “Their ranking is one of the top teams in the state and it was our district championship game. Bottom line, we knew we were in for a battle. The key was hands down the defensive intensity that we put out all game long. Especially in the first half. The Saints have a very high octane offense that is used to getting shot opportunities very easily, but our guys were relentless. We made it very hard for them to find a decent shot.”
With that win, the Vikings continue to climb through the district playoffs. Orcas will play Chief Leschi High School at noon on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Rogers High School in Puyallup. Sixteen teams will go to regionals and 12 will advance to the state tournament in Spokane, Wash.
Wiscomb was pleased with his team’s all-around performance during the Feb. 16 game.
“Jordan Randolph did a stellar job throughout the game of pacing our team,” he said. “He ran when it was open, and slowed the game tempo when it wasn’t. As a team, we only had five turnovers the whole game. That’s stupendous. Aidan Kruse went head to head with their star big man most of the game and kept him in check so he couldn’t dominate the floor. Hayden Simpson came in off the bench and gave us a massive lift. His shooting was spot on as he nailed three three-point baskets in the game, all at clutch moments. Cyrus Amour was relentless for every minute he played, crashing boards and making plays happen. Miles Harlow was a defensive tour de force and rebounding machine. Vanya Bullock put the icing on the cake in the fourth as time was running out dropped 5 free throws and put in a three. It was the dagger that ended the game.”
Orcas fans flowed out of the stands onto the court after the win and applauded as the individual Viking players and coaches triumphantly cut the net from the hoop.
Scoring breakdown was Amour 15, Bullock 14, Harlow 10, Randolph 9, Simpson 9, Kruse 6, and Duni 2.
The Friday Harbor Wolverines also advanced in the district playoffs. The Wolverines dominated the La Conner Braves in a convincing win, 54-30. The Wolverines will also move on to regionals.
The Lady Vikings ended their season with a loss to Friday Harbor, 46-39, at Sedro Woolley High School on Feb. 15.
“Defensively the Wolverines came out like gangbusters. We were somewhat in shock,” said Orcas head coach Gregg Sasan. “Their half-court defense was really good. They really pressured our leading scorer who was held to only three points. Bethany Hansen scored 13 and Jessie Nichols had 11, but it was not enough scoring to keep up with the Wolverines. But as good as their defense was, we really created our own problems by shooting only 28% from the field, had 19 turnovers and we missed five free throws in the 4th quarter. We only shot 9/18 free throws for the game..we needed those points. Their defense really caused us to fall apart. My hats off to them, they did a good job.”
The Vikings ended the year third place in conference at 8-4 and 13-7 overall.
Photos by: Erika Harlow, Marty Zier and Amber Paulsen.