L-R: Halle Thompson

Viking b-ball teams are bound for playoffs

The Orcas boys lost at home 49-37 to Friday Harbor  on Jan. 26, evening out the rivalry to 1-1 this season.

After barely winning the last contest after a last second jumper, Coach Corey Wiscomb knew there was no margin of error against the Wolverines.

“The game was an intense ride all the way through,” he said. “Friday Harbor Coach Turnbull made a nice adjustment to our zone defense from last game and their first quarter was their best, scoring-wise. We went straight up man to man after that and the defense held strong. Offensively we did fine in the first and third quarters but we had a massive stall in the fourth quarter and never actually scored a field goal.  Good free-throw shooting kept us within five points of the Wolverines towards the end of the game, but the Wolverines ran away with it. Vanya Bullock had a very solid game against heavy competition, scoring 19 points with four three-pointers and 3/3 shooting from the free throw line.  Captain Jordan Randolph was next in scoring with 8 points.”

Wiscomb acknowledges this rivalry probably isn’t over this season.

“We got them with a great run on their home court and they got us with a great run here at home,” Wiscomb said. “From the looks of things we will be facing them in the first round of the playoffs in Friday Harbor, and you can be sure the game is going to have plenty of intensity.”

The Vikings hosted Concrete for their second win against the Lions, 71-54  on Jan. 29.  Missing a key starter, Wiscomb noted how the absence affected his team.

“Not having our senior captain Pasha Bullock definitely lowered our intensity before the game and resulted in a very slow start against Concrete,” he said. “Pasha is a great leader and gets the team’s heads on square before, during and after game. Despite the slow start, we eventually had some nice balanced scoring and got our game on to take home a win. Jordan Randolph led all scorers with 19 with Aidan Kruse and Vanya Bullock each contributed 12. Michael Chesher stepped up to produce some great offensive motion when we needed it and he scored 10. Miles Harlow and Brother Murphy rounded us out with each of them scoring 9 points. It’s good to get some wins as we end the regular season and move into the playoffs.”

The Orcas boys enter the final stage of the season 9-3 in league behind Friday Harbor 10-2 and LaConner 12-0 before competing in the play-offs.

The Lady Vikings lost their second meeting 48-42 against Friday Harbor on Jan. 26 but made it a much closer contest than their last game.

Coach Gregg Sasan was much happier with his team’s performance against one of the league’s best teams.

“This was a much better game for us than our last game against the Wolverines when we couldn’t make a basket,” Sasan said. “We shot much better which allowed us to stay in the game. Friday Harbor is a tough team with talented seniors. They are long and have a lot of height so they create a lot of problems for us, but I thought our defense did pretty well containing them. I think we played much more to our potential.”

Orcas kept the game fairly even after the first quarter and was down by only 10 points at half, but solid play kept the Wolverines within striking range throughout the second quarter.

“Being down by just 6 points against Friday Harbor is a good effort by the girls. Bethany Hansen had some tall girls to fight with for rebounds and did really well,” Sasan said.

The Ladies won their second meeting 63-46 against the Concrete Lions on Jan. 29. Despite dominating the Lions in their previous meeting, the Orcas girls faced a better and more determined Concrete team that surprised the Vikings and led 23-21 at half. Coach Sasan expected an improved Lions’ performance.

“Concrete is a very gritty hard working team with some strong athletes, and I knew they wanted to leave here with a win,” he said.  “The game got pretty physically aggressive in the second half. We did not shoot that well in the first half and we allowed them to play their game, which is to pass the ball in the paint to their tall low post player for easy baskets. I thought our press by Lilly Miller and Katelyn and Emma Minnis did a good job disrupting their offense and once again Bethany Hansen dominated the boards. In the third quarter Halle Thompson and Katelyn began to hit their shots, which helped us stretch it out a bit.”

At 5-5 in league, the Lady Vikings trail Mt Vernon Christian at 7-5, Friday Harbor 11-1 and undefeated LaConner at 12-0.

“It looks like we’ll make the playoffs so it’s time for the girls to step it up,” Sasan, said.

Both boys and girls basketball teams play Shoreline Christian next this week.