MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Brooke Pahukoa’s two early fouls against Snohomish in Saturday’s 4A district 1 third-place game could have spelled doom for the Lake Stevens Vikings.
Pahukoa got the Vikings off to a stellar start, scoring a quick seven points, but after picking up her second foul coach Randall Edens sent her to the bench for the remainder of the first half.
Luckily for Brooke, twin-sister Brittney had her back, stepping up and leading the team on a dominating run that helped the Vikings defeat the Panthers 57-40 and move on to play Newport on Tuesday for a spot in the state regionals.
Brittney Pahukoa scored 11 points and had seven steals and six assists in the first half as the Vikings built a 31-15 lead at halftime. She finished the game with 17 points.
“That’s what she does,” Lake Stevens head coach Randall Edens said. “I think that’s sometimes when she gets overlooked, about how much she manages and affects (the game) that maybe won’t even show up on the stat sheet. That makes such a difference for our team and she’s been doing it all year.”
Playing without Brooke is nothing new to the Vikings. She missed six games earlier in the season with injury and the Vikings had to learn how to win without her.
“It was nice to see that we were able to absorb Brooke being out for a stretch and kind of managing things,” Edens said. “But you know, Brooke was hurt earlier in the year for six games, so because we had gone through that before I think it really helped here.”
Brooke missed the majority of the first half, but scored 14 of her 21 points after halftime to help the Vikings maintain their lead. She possibly could have scored more, but Edens removed his starters about midway through the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.
“She was on a mission in the second half,” Edens said. “That really kind of allowed for some separation.”
After having to battle through injuries and inconsistent play throughout the season, things appear to be coming together for the Vikings at the right time.
“We feel like we are playing really, really well right now,” Edens said. “We’re finally getting healthy which is good and kind of an important thing this time of year. We were really beat up and we have gone through so much to get us up to this point, especially in the middle of the season. So it’s kind of nice to just be in a position where we have all of our people in their normal locations and we just want to keep this thing moving along as much as we can.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Snohomish 8 7 16 9 — 40
Lake Stevens 15 16 17 9 — 57
Snohomish—Morgan Green 13, Ellie Otteson 0, Hannah Berntson 2, Shaylee Harwood 1, Kayla Lachappelle 6, Madeline Smith 5, Paige Helms 4, Bailey Armbruster 4, Mariah Mock 3, Ellie Flitsch 0, Tara Harms 0. Lake Stevens—Alex Briggs 0, Mallory Gipson 0, Cassidy Fifield 0, Chelsea Pahls 4, Kacie Reichert 0, Railey Pedersen 0, Ivy Blackmon 0, Brittney Pahukoa 17, Emily Vandegrift 5, Brooke Pahukoa 21, Kali Long 10, Hailey Wilson 0. 3-point goals—Mock 1. Records—Snohomish 15-9 overall. Lake Stevens 17-7.