LAKE STEVENS — It was a tale of two halves for the Lake Stevens Vikings girls basketball team.
Coming out of the locker room at halftime, Lake Stevens found itself down 29-25. However, the Vikings started the third quarter on a 17-1 run and were able to hang on for a 61-52 Wesco North win against the previously undefeated Stanwood Spartans Friday night at Lake Stevens High School.
Lake Stevens came out firing in the second half, making shots it had been missing the previous two quarters. Senior Katie Goddard made a couple of 3-pointers and 5-foot-7 Abby Molstre kept grabbing shots the Vikings missed as they separated themselves from the Spartans.
“It takes a supreme effort and our kids did that tonight,” Lake Stevens head coach Randall Edens said.
Even after getting poked in the eye early in the fourth quarter, Molstre recorded a double-double, finishing with 17 points and 13 rebounds. She had as many rebounds as Stanwood posts Paisley Heckman (6-0) and Rachel Swartz (6-3) combined, despite being 8 inches shorter than the latter.
“You don’t believe what she can do until you see it in person,” Edens said.
The Vikings forward knew she was going to have to step up and get rebounds if her team was going to have a chance to knock off the Spartans.
“I knew I had to pick up my game,” Molstre said with a red right eye after the game. “Just box out.”
Edens believes the catalyst for the run came about halfway through the second quarter. Lake Stevens (2-0 league, 4-0 overall) had been whistled for nine fouls, compared to Stanwood’s one so the Vikings’ coach had a word with the official, and subsequently received a technical foul.
The Spartans made both free throws, but then turned the ball over after the inbounds pass, which sparked a 5-0 Lake Stevens run to end the half.
“It was worth its while,” Edens said of the technical foul.
The results make it hard to argue. Lake Stevens got big second-half buckets from Goddard — who scored 11 of her 16 points in the final two quarters — and Brooke Pahukoa as they pulled away from the Spartans. Pahukoa finished with a game-high 18 points, 14 of them coming in the second half.
Meanwhile, Molstre was battling under the basket and earning her double-double against Heckman (seven rebounds) and Swartz (six rebounds). Brittney Pahukoa, Brooke’s twin, added six points, six rebounds, two steals and four assists — two of which went to her sister.
Edens said the key to the Vikings’ success was that they were able to speed the game up in the third quarter, and “be a little frantic.”
“We had to pick up the tempo,” he said. “That’s the game we want.”
Molstre admitted there might have been a little more excitement than usual, with both teams undefeated and tied atop the Wesco North standings at the start of the game. Her coach agreed.
“We were really anxious,” Edens said. “That’s part of the foul disparity. Once we started making easy buckets we were able to relax and play.”
Stanwood (1-1, 4-1) took the early lead thanks to some hot shooting by senior guard Renee Lucero and her team-high 17 points. Fifteen of those came in the first couple quarters. In the game-altering third quarter Lucero didn’t make a basket.
That’s when Swartz (14 points) stepped up. The Spartans didn’t have a field goal in the quarter until she hit a mid-range jump shot with 2:22 left. She had nine of the Spartans 10 third-quarter points, all in the final two-and-a-half minutes. The other point came on a Brenda Bingham free throw.
Lake Stevens’ fouls also sent Stanwood to the line rather frequently in the first half, where the Spartans made 12-of-13 free throws (92 percent). Stanwood was in the bonus, shooting one-and-one free throws, 30 seconds into the second quarter.
At Lake Stevens H.S
Stanwood—Duncan 1, Kelleigh 3, Lucero 17, Bingham 9, Murphy 0, Borseth 2, Swartz 14, Heckman 6. Lake Stevens—Goddard 16, Pilon 0, Pahls 2, Pedersen 0, Blackmon 0, Molstre 17, Bri. Pahukoa 6, Bro. Pahukoa 18, Long 2. 3-point goals—Lucero 1, Bingham 1, Kelleigh 1, Goddard 4, Bri. Pahukoa 1, Bro. Pahukoa 1. Records—Stanwood 1-1 league, 4-1 overall. Lake Stevens 2-0, 4-0.
At Lake Stevens H.S.
Stanwood—Palmer, Allison, Duncan, Kelleigh, Lucero, Bingham, Jacobs, Ta. Murphy, Borseth, Swartz, Heckman, Tr. Murphy. Lake Stevens—Goddard, Gipson, Pilon, Pahls, Pedersen, Blackmon, Molstre, Bri. Pahukoa, Bro. Pahukoa, Long. 3-point goals—xxx. Records—Stanwood x-x league, x-x overall. Lake Stevens x-x, x-x.