by Marty Zier
The Lady Vikings advance to the 2B Bi-District Tournament in Sedro Woolley after a 50-36 win over Auburn Adventist at the Orcas High School gym on Feb. 10.
Recalling December’s meeting against the Falcons when the Vikings lost by 3 points, Coach Gregg Sasan’s game plan was simple: shut down their leading scorer.
“We knew who their top scorer was from our last game after she scored 27 points against us,” he said. “Today she scored only five. The Falcons’ other shooter scored more than 20 points, but I told the girls to just focus on their top scorer and team leader, and they did a good job. Our defense did a really good job today.”
The Vikings’ offense started the game blistering hot, ending the first quarter up 18-4. Katy Minnis forced the Falcon defense to adjust after bombing a few deep 3-pointers while Maia Lewis-Shunk and Minnis controlled the ball from the top of the key and threaded the ball to open shots.
Jessie Nichols, Journey Howden and Olivia Brunner-Gaydos shut down Auburn scoring in the paint and controlled the boards. That said, gaining a hefty lead for the Vikings has not been unusual, but hanging on to it has. With just minutes left in the second quarter, glimpses of derailment appeared as the Viking’s smooth play turned choppy and disconnected, entering half only up by nine points, 29-20, after multiple turnovers.
“We addressed our focus and breaking down in our huddle at half,” said Sasan. “We did better on fouls too. None of our players fouled out, but a few were close.”
The players took note as they maintained a 9-point lead ending the third quarter, up 37-28, and never left an opportunity for Auburn to get back in the game. Orcas scoring was Minnis with 26, Nichols 12, Lewis-Shunk 6, Brunner-Gaydos 4 and Howden 2.
The Vikings play La Conner in the first round of the 2B Bi-District Tournament on Weds., Feb. 14 at 6:15 p.m. in La Conner. Regardless of the outcome, they will play on Feb. 16 at Sedro-Wolley High School. A win at either of these games will send them to regionals on Feb. 23 or 24. If they win that game, then it’s off to Spokane on Feb. 28.
The boys team will play Feb. 13 at Crosspoint in Bremerton. Regardless of the outcome, they will then play on Feb. 15 at Sedro-Wolley High School. Again, a win at either game will ensure them a spot in regionals and a win there will take them to Spokane.