SNOHOMISH — Among Glacier Peak’s talented four starting juniors, there’s no telling who might have the most impactful night.
Guards Aaliyah Collins, Malia Smith, Maya Erling and post Madison Rubino typically all find meaningfully ways to impact a game’s outcome. Therein lies the challenge for Grizzly opponents.
Against Lake Stevens, in a matchup of Wesco 4A’s top two girls basketball programs, Erling captured the spotlight, and the Vikings couldn’t recover.
“She’s a really good, well-rounded player, and I’m glad she’s on my side,” said GP coach Brian Hill of Erling.
Erling’s big night helped the Grizzlies overcome some early turnovers, Glacier Peak built a double-digit halftime lead and rolled to a key 66-50 league win over Lake Stevens on Tuesday night at Glacier Peak High School.
Erling finished with a game-high 25 points, five rebounds and four assists. The 5-foot-8 guard had 23 points through three quarters and recorded 17 by halftime. Erling made three 3-pointers, showcased her mid-range game and an ability to get to the basket.
“I never go out there and think that I am going to drop 30 tonight,” said Erling, adding that she tends to play better against tough competition. “That’s not really my thought process. It’s just, ‘I’m going to play hard. I’m going to get what is most open to me, and get it to my teammates when it’s necessary.’ Honestly, it’s awesome. You just do what you can.”
While Erling delivered plenty of scoring, she got a lot of help. Rubino finished with 10 points, a game-high nine rebounds and played strong defense against Lake Stevens’ 6-foot-plus forwards Cori Wilcox and Camille Jentzsch. Collins had seven points, six steals and five assists, and Kailyn Allison came off the bench to score nine points and combined with starter Shaylin Sande to limit Vikings standout guard Raigan Reed to 15 points.
The win for Glacier Peak (14-2, 10-0 Wesco 4A) pushed the Grizzlies’ win streak to 10 games and gave them a sizeable lead in the league-title race. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak in league play for the Vikings (11-4, 7-2).
Sophomore guard Baylor Thomas led Lake Stevens with 18 points, Wilcox added seven, but their performances weren’t enough against Glacier Peak.
The Grizzlies quickly built a 15-3 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to 10 points from Erling in a span of 3:30, but the Vikings used a 9-0 scoring run to trim their deficit to 15-12 before Allison hit a 3-pointer right before the first-quarter buzzer sounded.
In a fast-paced second quarter riddled with several back-to-back turnover sequences caused by intense defensive pressure, Glacier Peak went on another scoring run that pushed its lead to 27-14 after Allison made her second triple with 2:30 to play until halftime.
Lake Stevens couldn’t get the score to single-digits the rest of the way.
Glacier Peak’s smallest lead was 11 in the third quarter, and the Grizzles led by 12 to open the fourth quarter before pulling further away.
“We’re undefeated in league,” Erling explained. “We have two losses overall. I still think we have a little more growing to do, but overall I’m proud of this team, and I can’t wait to continue this season.”