by MARTY ZIER
On Jan. 27 the Lady Vikings traveled to island rival Friday Harbor for a 48-41 conference win. Losing earlier in the season to the Wolverines, the Vikings came prepared for a physical contest.
Ahead 21-19 at half, Viking’s Coach Gregg Sasan saw his defense keep Friday Harbor in check despite some of his players absorbing some hard fouls.
“The girls stepped it up and played really good defense. That was the key,” he said. “We really worked on rebounding and getting back on offense.”
Sticky defense and quick transitions paid off for the Vikings as the girls stretched their lead to 41-29 at the end of a dominate third quarter.
The Wolverines, helped by their home crowd, had one more fight as foul trouble caught up to the Vikings late in the fourth quarter with guard Kilee Rogers retiring with her fifth.
But the remaining Orcas players stayed composed as time ran out. Viking team scoring was led by Hannah Brunner-Gaydos with 16, Rogers 13.
Halle Thompson 8, Lilly Miller 4, Joie Zier 3 and both Katy Minnis and Jessie Nichols with 2. On Jan. 30, the Lady Vikings hosted Concrete for a 54-44 win against the Lions.
After a convincing Viking win earlier in the season, Orcas clearly faced an improved Lion team as the Vikings struggled to score points. With the Viking offense off balance, Orcas stayed in the game by containing the Lions with an effective full-court press. Down only 10-8 after the first quarter, Concrete tied 10-10 mid-second quarter with Orcas holding a slim lead at half, 24-19.
But the Vikings seemed to gel in the third quarter as their shots fell and the full-court defense tired the Lions. Concrete struggled to control the paint as Brunner-Gaydos took control of the game and forced the Lions to foul, racking up points in the paint and at the free throw line. By the end of the third, Orcas led 42-25.
Viking foul trouble in the fourth quarter forced Sasan to summon his young bench.
Viking scoring was led by Brunner-Gaydos with 31, Rogers 8, Minnis and Nichols 5, Bethany Hansen 4 and Zier 1.
The boys Viking team traveled to Friday Harbor for a 69-30 loss against the Wolverines on Jan. 27.
The young Vikings opened the game strong. A high intensity full-court press, headed by Jordan Randolph, Pasha Bullock and Vanya Bullock, prevented Friday Harbor from getting the ball down-court to their dominate posts. Orcas was within three points with a minute left in the half, but a final surge by the Wolverines left Orcas down by seven.
“Friday Harbor made some strong adjustments at half to counter the Viking press and came out the second half with a vigor,” Coach Corey Wiscomb said. “Miles Harlow fouled out early in the second half, and with Aidan Kruse already sidelined for the season, the remaining Viking posts were out-muscled down low. We could not stop the size and strength of their posts. They cleaned up every rebound and turned it into a score. And if that’s not motivation to hit the weight room in the off-season, I don’t know what is!”
Orcas scoring was led by Harlow with 10, Pasha 7, Randolph 5 and Brother Murphy 4 and Gwydion Marreth and Vanya both with 2.
On Jan. 30 the Vikings inked in a second conference win against the Concrete Lions 62-50. The Lions team had been playing strong, taking some of the toughest teams into nail-biting finishes. Focused, the Vikings used their ever- progressing transition game to pull away from the Lions from the opening tip.
“We had a nice spread of scoring all across the team,” Wisomb said. “We were passing with confidence in every player on the floor, and the game just came to us. We learned something out there and I hope we keep it from here on out. Everyone played, and we finished most of the fourth quarter with our second team closing the game.”
Orcas scoring was led by Pasha and Murphy both with 12, Vanya 11, Michael Chesher and Harlow both with 8, Randolph 6, Yusuf Duni 3 and Steven Bodenhamer with 2.
The Orcas teams travel to Shoreline Christian and Darrington this week.