Vikings eye play-offs

The boys and girls basketball teams look to improve their records as they fight for a second to fourth playoff seed spot for the Northwest 2B/1B playoffs that start Feb. 16.

The boys and girls basketball teams look to improve their records as they fight for a second to fourth playoff seed spot for the Northwest 2B/1B playoffs that start Feb. 16.

The Lady Vikings, 4-3  in league play, hosted the Shoreline Christian Crusaders for a dramatic overtime win 65-59 to the delight of a howling Orcas crowd on Jan. 13.

The Vikings, playing well, fell behind early, mainly due to a talented Shoreline player that found weaknesses in the Orcas defense. But one player is not a team, and after ending the first half down 27-24, Coach Gregg Sasan found adjustments that worked.

Orcas started the third quarter elevating their defense, shooting and impressive passing and unselfish teamwork. With 6:56 left in the third quarter, Orcas took their first lead 38-36.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Vikings appeared to have the game narrowly under control but committed untimely fouls and a turnover that allowed the Crusaders to even the game 53-53 with regulation expiring.

Orcas starters Emma Minnis, Kilee Rogers and Hanna Brunner-Gaydos maintained control of the overtime period  for the win.

The Lady Vikings hosted the Darrington Loggers for another win, 61-40, on Jan. 16.

Orcas controlled this game from the start, ending the first quarter 14-9 as a result of disciplined team play.

By half, the Lady Vikings were up 36-21 and combined outside shooting, tight defense and excellent passing.

Orcas continued rapid passing that kept the Loggers’ defense off balance and stretched the lead to 51-35 by the fourth quarter with the Orcas bench finishing the contest.

Assistant Coach Amber Paulsen said, “It was inspirational to see the girls play such great team ball. They had some of the best passing I have seen in them all year and were able to anticipate where their teammates would be. Great energy.”

Orcas scoring was led by Hannah Brunner-Gaydos with 20, Kilee Rogers 16 and Halle Thompson with 10.

Orcas faces tough league teams this week: Cedar Park, Mt. Vernon Christian and LaConner.

The Viking boys improved their league record to 4-3 after a couple hard-fought wins.

The theme presented by first-year head coach Corey Wiscomb was centered around “the next man up,” and no better time than last week defined the Vikings’ determination.

Bouncing off a narrow win against Concrete but down yet another key starter, the resilient Vikings out-hustled the Shoreline Christian Crusaders 75-50 for a league win Jan. 13.

“Once again we were hampered by junior leader Pasha Bullock sidelined with a knee injury,” said Wiscomb. “Regardless, the guys stepped up and executed a relentless full-court press that simply outran and out-hustled the Shoreline team. Sophomore Jordan Randolph led the way with 20 points and eight assists.”

On Jan. 16 the Vikings faced the Darrington Loggers at home for another key league win 61-40.

“With key players still sidelined due to injury, my younger players had to step up to take leading roles in the contest,” Wiscomb said. “Win or lose, I’m most proud to see young men becoming stronger players by taking more responsibility on the court when their team needs it most. In the past few games three players have stepped up big time to help the team.  Jordan Randolph is playing really well right now. Steven Bodenhamer and Michael Chesher have stepped up their intensity and brought their game to a whole new level.”

The Vikings get tested this week with three league games starting with Cedar Park Christian.