by Corey Wiscomb
Oh, what a difference a day, or two, can make in the Northwest League.
The week began with an outing of the Orcas High School Lady Vikings against the La Conner Braves on Jan. 24. While Orcas started strong against the perennial powerhouse team, by the end of the first half the quick passing and significant height advantage of La Conner was already becoming evident. Still, the OHS players battled hard and kept their heads held high. The game finished 18-59. Then the Lady Vikings regrouped. They talked. They took a deep breath and kept at it. As point guard leader Ava Ashcraft clearly put it, “We’ve worked on building trust and working as a team. We do that, and we will be okay.”
On Jan. 26 Orcas proved to be more than okay in a league contest against a very physical Concrete Lion team. Orcas took a commanding lead in the game and had a nice rotation of all players. When things are working, they are just working — every player on the Orcas roster put points in the scorebook for this one. A true team effort. The Lady Vikings took home a solid 62-23 victory and elevated their league record to 3-2.
Players are looking and thinking about how to manifest their success. Starting guard Sofia Mahoney-Jauregui offered this insight: “From the first game to the last game we’ve grown so much. I think the next step is working even more as a team – getting us all on the same page by learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses so we can play off of them.”
Now the focus is bringing that team-oriented approach to the final game of the regular season, which will be against the Friday Harbor Wolverines. The contest will count towards the league record and determine seeding for the postseason. The two teams did have one meeting earlier in the year, which was a defensive battle royale that saw the Wolverines walk away with a very narrow lead at the end of regulation.