by Marty Zier
The men’s basketball team traveled to Mt. Vernon Christian for a 79-36 win. The Hurricanes opened up with a three-point basket to take the lead, but it was the only lead they would have the entire game.
“Our press quickly went on an 18-0 run and by the earliest parts of the second quarter we had more than a 20-point lead and pulled the press for the remainder of the game,” said Coach Corey Wiscomb. “Yusuf Duni and Hayden Simpson both played very well and had 10 points each. Vanya Bullock led all scorers with 26, Cyrus Amour played solid and scored 13, Miles Harlow scored 5 and had 5 assists, Jordan Randolph and Brother Murphy each scored 4 while Michael Chesher and Kellen Maier scored 2 apiece.”
The Vikings hosted the Darrington Loggers on Jan. 12 and won easily 77-28. Bullock led all scorers with 18, Simpson 14, Amour 13, Harlow 12, Murphy 8, Chesher 4, Aidan Kruse and Duni 3 and Randolph with 2.
Rounding out the week was a win 63-37 against the Concrete Lions (2-5).
“They are always tougher than they look,” said Wiscomb. “I would say they are definitely the scrappiest team in the league. They work really hard and I believe that’s what gives them their wins. Even though we maintained a lead through the early parts of the game, the Lions simply wouldn’t go away. Concrete held the normally high-scoring Vikings to a dismal 23 points in the first half and we went to the locker room down by three points. Cyrus Amour was busting his tail all over the floor … Coming out at half Miles Harlow stepped up huge. He made it his personal mission to go for every loose ball. Harlow finished the game with 15 of the Vikings 22 defensive rebounds.”
The third quarter gelled for the Vikings with the team energy and effort ascended to the next level.
“Vanya Bullock blew the doors off midway through the third quarter by wrapping around a screen from Randolph and finishing at the hoop with a tomahawk dunk,” said Wiscomb. “The gymnasium erupted and the Vikings soaked the energy in. Mere moments later Bullock found the ball on the right side of the floor with a step on the defender and took the ball to the rim again with an even stronger slam that left the backboard shaking in his wake.”
Orcas scoring was Bullock 22, Amour 12, Kruse 10, Murphy 7, Chesher 7, Harlow 2, Duni 2, and Randolph 1. The Vikings finish the week undefeated in conference at (7-0) with Friday Harbor trailing at (6-1), LaConner (4-2) and Mt Vernon Christian at (4-3).
The Lady Vikings lost to Mt. Vernon Christian 49-45 on Jan. 10, letting a solid 18-point lead slip away at the end of the fourth quarter.
Frustrated Coach Gregg Sasan said there were two reasons for the collapse: “We ran out of legs, we got tired and we stopped doing the things like shooting we had been doing successfully the previous three-quarters.”
Orcas scoring was Katy Minnis 20, Journey Howden 7, Bethany Hansen and Jessie Nichols 5 each, Sandy Rost 4, Joanne Meitzner and Olivia Brunner-Gaydos both with 2.
The Vikings won against a rebuilding Darrington Logger team, 57-31, on Jan. 12.
“We knew we had the advantage against the Loggers,” said Sasan. “Defensively, our goal was to keep their two top scorers in check. I also had the opportunity to use my bench and they did a good job.”
Minnis led scoring with 19 followed by Hansen with 13, Maia Lewis-Shunk 9, Rost 6, Nichols 4, Hayden, Meitzner and Brunner-Gaydos with 2 each.
But the battle of the week was at home on Jan. 14. The win against the Concrete Lions 54-35 was a game much closer than the score suggested.
“I knew it would be a scrappy game,” said Sasan. “The Concrete girls go after it, throwing elbows, pushing, shoving, everything. I told our girls to be physical; don’t let them get to you.”
The first three-quarters the Lions played well, keeping the Vikings within about 10 points. With players being slammed to the floor, rivalry heightened in the fourth quarter and technical fouls were delivered to both teams. Solid Orcas defense resulted in the Vikings taking a charging call from a leading Lion scorer and fouling her out.
Scoring was Minnis with 16, Hansen 14, Rost 8, Lewis-Shunk 6, Howden 5, Meitner and Brunner-Gaydos both with 2 and Birdie Greening with 1. The Lady Vikings end the week (5-2) in conference behind LaConner at (6-0) and Mt Vernon Christian at (6-1).
Both Orcas basketball teams play La Conner at home on Friday, Jan. 20.