by Marty Zier
The Vikings boys’ basketball squad traveled to Shoreline Christian for a dominating win, 71-30.
The Crusaders and the Vikings traded baskets evenly until about mid first quarter; then it quickly became evident that the Orcas boys were just warming up.
“The team came out strong, ran well and used our press in the first quarter plus a little in the second,” said Coach Corey Wiscomb. “Jordan Randolph and Pasha Bullock were dynamo up top on defense. Aidan Kruse found his way down low for big buckets to get the ball rolling and get the team into stride. Brother Murphy had a solid day in both scoring and rebounding and put in another double-double.”
On Jan. 15, Vikings hosted the Darrington Loggers for 67-20 win. A young, overmatched team, the Loggers faced a smooth Orcas club with a spiderweb defense that denied Darrington the simplest of tasks.
“The game afforded us a nice chance to play everyone on the team who has been busting their tails in practice,” said Wiscomb. “Hayden Simpson was dynamite from the three-point line and tallied an impressive 7 assists. Michael Chesher led all scorers with 18 points in the game.”
On Jan. 16, the Vikings lost 63-53 to the Port Townsend Red Hawks for their first Orcas High School meeting. Wiscomb worked with Athletic Director Vicki Vandermay to get this club on the game schedule.
“Port Townsend is in a much larger 1A/2A league and we knew they would bring a challenge, which is exactly what we needed after a couple 40-point wins,” Wiscomb said. “We are 8-4 overall and doing really well in league. We have a chance to move into first place with our match against LaConner. We know they will be tough and we have our work clearly laid out. I believe that now we are going to be more mentally prepared to finish the week with our toughest opponent.”
On Jan. 12 the Lady Vikings beat Shoreline Christian 33-23 in a not-so-pretty game.
Both teams struggled making baskets, with the Vikings leading only 8-4 after the first quarter. By half Orcas had stretched their lead to 15-5, but their inability to land a hop allowed the Crusaders to challenge the lead.
“Shoreline is a very young team and I thought we would play them pretty tough, but we did not play as well as I wanted us to,” said Coach Gregg Sasan. “Our offense is really struggling, actually we were just terrible, it’s something we are working on.”
The Lady Vikings hosted the Darrington Loggers for another out-of-sync win, 33-26, on Jan. 15.
The Vikings trailed the Loggers 13-11 after a sketchy first half. Fortunately Katelyn Minnis opened the third quarter with a three-pointer while Bethany Hansen maintained control of the boards, sparking the Vikings to a 26-19 advantage entering the fourth quarter. But an ominous shooting funk embraced the Vikings, allowing the Loggers to nudge the lead with minutes left. The Vikings missed as many as five free-throw shots in a row with seconds remaining, keeping the Orcas crowd on the edge of their seats.
“It was a very close game,” Sasan said. “We had trouble making shots again. We are evenly matched with Darrington as far as defense, size and shooting … they missed a lot of buckets; we missed a lot of buckets. We are working on our shooting, but after tonight you can see it’s not working. The girls played very hard; we just need to figure out our shooting. We are 8-3 overall but need to improve because we are going to face some good teams.”