LAKE STEVENS — The Lake Stevens Vikings boys basketball team suffered some serious roster turnover after earning a 4A state tournament berth last season.
After losing nine seniors off last year’s roster, you can’t blame head coach Mark Hein for being a little bit curious as to how his new squad would perform in their first game of the year.
The Vikings didn’t disappoint, earning a 70-41 nonconference victory over Oak Harbor on Friday night at Lake Stevens High School.
Gunnar Eklund, a 6-foot-6 senior finished with a game-high 17 points and nine rebounds for the Vikings. Fellow post Lorin Vandegrift (6-7, sophomore) added 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field.
“It was going to be interesting to see how some of these guys responded to their first varsity experience,” Hein said. “It was a really good start for us.”
Christian Gasca, a 5-11 junior, ran the point efficiently for Lake Stevens. Gasca scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half and added six assists and five steals.
“He really kind of got us going,” Hein said.
The Vikings, who went 0-2 and didn’t place in the last year’s state tournament, used their inside size to earn high-percentage shots.
“We have some size and tonight we were able to get some good inside looks,” Hein said. “We ended up shooting 50 percent from the field. We’re definitely more of an inside-oriented team (as opposed to previous years).”
The Vikings were able to limit Oak Harbor’s Mike Washington Jr. to just eight points, while Jay Stout earned a team-high 14 for the Wildcats.
“Jay Stout really had a good game for them,” Hein said. “He played tough.”
At Lake Stevens H.S.
Oak Harbor—Massey 0, Miller 2, T. Paul 0, Burgoyne 5, Stout 14, Washington Jr. 8, C. Paul 2, Brooks 10, Tillotson 0. Lake Stevens—Gellner 7, Stoen 0, Iverson 1, Nelson 6, Tomson 0, Gasca 12, Dolphin 4, Dodge 2, Paulsen 10, Vandegrift 11, Eklund 17. 3-point goals—Stout 3, Washington Jr. 1, Gasca 1, Paulsen 2. Records—Oak Harbor 1-2 overall. Lake Stevens 1-0.