Boys’ basketball team has big goals

by Cienna Richardson and Jefferson Freeman

Orcas High School students

Boys varsity basketball got off to a fantastic start with a dramatic game against Mt. Baker Mountaineers, winning 58-57, and a game against Overlake, losing 73-42.

“The start of the season was super exciting,” said senior starter Sam Sutton. “Goals for the season: I’d say a big emphasis on team basketball, build a lot of chemistry where we can play fast-paced and move the ball and not rely on one player. And make it far, play a lot of games.”

Senior starter Jefferson Freeman explained that this year’s team is missing a handful of senior players from last year.

“We’re a very, very young group. It’s a brand new team, but it’s also a team that has played together for a very long time, a lot of seniors and juniors who have played basketball together since 4th grade,” he said.

When asked about this season’s goals, junior starter Remy Lago said: “Our biggest goal is to get to state. We got 6th place last year, and I think we can make it further. I want to do better than last season.”

This week poses two huge games. On Tuesday, Dec. 5 La Conner comes into town after beating a Lummi team that is projected to be one of the best teams in the state. After that, the Vikings have their most anticipated road trip of the year, setting sail for Friday Harbor for another installation in the rivalry series.

Opening game coverage

The Mountaineers came into the game 1-1 on Dec. 1 and were looking to pick up their second win against the Vikings. It was a quick opening for both offenses. It was 16-12 for the Mountaineers that would lead into the second half. Only two Viking players recorded a field goal in the second half as Mount Baker held them to just seven points. With the offense dragged almost to a halt the Mountaineers held a 29-19 lead. The Vikings had a big task in front of them coming out of the half. The Mount Baker lead inflated to 39-17 as things looked bad for the home team. Lago finally broke the points drought as he buried two free throws. This would spark a Vikings point streak led by Joe Stephens. Stephens would knock down three triples, Jefferson Freeman would add six more points and both Sam Sutton and Andrew Garcia got a bucke,t meaning the entire starting five contributed to cutting the score from 36-19 down to 44-40.

The Vikings struggled out of the break, watching the Mountaineers run out to a 53-42 lead, seeming to put the game away. Down by 11 Freeman would get a bucket driving and force a Mount Baker timeout. Coming out of the huddle Orcas forced a stop and went on a run, Lago had 5 straight points, then Andrew Garcia cut the lead down to 2. With the lead shrinking fast the OIHS crowd was in the game. A full student section was making their presence felt in what was becoming an incredible game. After Garcia’s bucket the Mountaineers got the lead back to four. On the next possession, it was Freeman again, this time from distance to cut the lead down to a point. Mt. Baker would score, but only got the lead back to three. The Vikings got possession and gave the ball to Lago, knocking down his three, making it 57-57 and tying the game. Orcas got what looked like the last possession, but Stephens’ game-winning attempt fell short. Mount Baker attempted a Hail Mary, and the pass found Sutton. He got the ball away from any danger but was fouled. With .3 seconds Sutton had two free throws with the game tied. Vikings’ fans watched as he first free throw rattled around the rim before falling out. Sutton lined up for the second and knocked it down to the elation of a packed gym. The Vikings were down 11 points with just minutes left, and they had come back with a 58-57 win.