The future is now for the Lake Stevens boys.
The Vikings defeated the Warriors 57-51 on Saturday night in a 4A District 1 loser-out game. With the win, the Vikings host Bothell, the No. 3 seed from Kingco for a berth in the state regionals.
It was a game that featured a battle tested Vikings team against a young, but extremely talented, Warriors team. For three quarters it was unclear what team would persevere. Edmonds-Woodway's star 6-7 sophomore post Travis Bakken had his team under his wing, while all-around athlete Christian Gasca carried the Vikings.
In the fourth quarter, it was Gasca that helped his team pull away.
"We wanted it," Gasca said. "We practiced well, we prepared well for them. We have played them twice already this year. That was the third time we have played them and third time we took care of them. We know what they like to do so we prepared well, our coaches did a good job of scouting. It made it a lot easier on us."
Gasca finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists. He shot 6-for-8 from the field and 4-for-5 from the beyond the arc.
"He had a great all-around game," Lake Stevens coach Mark Hein said. "He really is a gamer. If the game is on the line he's a great competitor, one of the great competitors I have ever coached."
For the Warriors, the shots that had been falling for much of the contest stopped falling in the fourth quarter.
"We just couldn't hit a shot in the fourth quarter," Warriors coach Steve Call said. "It was 41-38 (E-W leading) and I think they went on an 18-8 run. We just couldn't hit a bucket. We had good looks. Henry Olson and Travis Bakken both had good looks and I was surprised that they didn't fall."
The Vikings have gotten to where they are by recovering from their loss to Snohomish earlier in the district tournament by advancing through the consolation bracket, setting up their winner-to-regionals/loser-out game with Bothell.
Gasca said it wasn't exactly how the Vikings wanted to do it, but still a success.
"Where we wanted to be was in the game that is playing right now," Gasca said of the district championship, which followed the Lake Stevens game. "It's a good feeling that we could come back from where we were and just pull it out."
Hein said that the Vikings haven't exactly gotten to where they want to be just yet.
"We still haven't done what we were supposed to do yet," Hein said. "Like I told my team, it is really important that you are near-sighted this time of year taking the route we are because if you start looking out too far, what you have to do, it can be a little daunting. I thought they have done an extremely good job, our guys have done a really good job on just focusing on who is next."
And for the Vikings, Bothell is next.
"We have seen them play a couple of time and they are really talented individually," Hein said. "We feel like it is a game that if we do what we can, we should be right there."
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Read his live blogs at www.heraldnet.com/prepzone, follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Jackson H.S. Lake Stevens -- 16 12 10 19 -- 57
Edmonds-Woodway- 16 10 15 10 -- 51
Lake Stevens-Smith 15, Stoen 9, Tomson 3, Gasca 23, Pahukoa 7, Rahn 0, Rothgeb 0. Edmonds-Woodway-Pattison 8, Joseph 14, Rice 4, Peterson 2, Bakken 15, Smarr 4, Olson 4. 3-point goals-Pattison 1, Gasca 4, Stoen 1, Smith 3. Records-Lake Stevens 16-9. Edmonds-Woodway 15-9.
More High Schools Headlines
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.