Lake Stevens freshman Noelani Tupua tries to score from the paint against Skyview during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lake Stevens freshman Noelani Tupua tries to score from the paint against Skyview during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lake Stevens girls book their spot at the Tacoma Dome

The Vikings knock off Skyview 47-33 to advance to the Class 4A round of 12.

ARLINGTON — The Lake Stevens High School girls basketball team banded together to book their spot in the Tacoma Dome.

The No. 9-seeded Vikings built an early lead and didn’t let it slip, beating the 16th-seeded Skyview Storm 47-34 in a Class 4A state regional loser-out game Friday night at Arlington High School.

Lake Stevens (19-4) advanced to a round-of-12 matchup at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome against the loser of Saturday’s regional game between No. 1 Camas and No. 8 Gonzaga Prep. Skyview ended its season 15-10.

“This is something we always had as a goal at the beginning of the year,” Vikings coach Seth Dodge said. “We hit some adversity at the very end of the season, but our girls rallied together and they played so hard together.”

Sophomore guard Keira Tupua delivered 11 of her 14 points in the second half and dished out five assists for Lake Stevens. Senior 6-footer Nisa Ellis collected 10 points, 10 boards and three blocks, while junior Griffyn Eyman added nine points.

Lake Stevens took an 11-4 lead just over midway through the first, and the Vikings advantaged hovered above two possessions for the majority of contest.

The Storm, who trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, closed to within three at the half at 22-19. Ellis, despite early foul trouble, took a crucial charge with 52 seconds remaining in the half to stem the tide.

“We had a couple of our girls with three fouls going into half, so we had to change up our defense … taking away their high-post game,” Dodge said. “They had some length, but we took that away from them, and on offense we just played our game.”

Tupua helped extend the lead in the third, coming up with a steal on the first possession of the quarter and taking it the length of the floor for a lay-in. She converted another bucket at the 6-minute, 28-second mark, putting Lake Stevens in front 26-19 and triggering a Skyview timeout.

“I definitely felt like I had a bit of a change,” Tupua said. “But, in the first half I shared the ball around, got my teammates involved. It’s an easier game when you share the ball. … Anybody can score.”

The Vikings led 39-31 heading into the final frame and 39-33 at the 6:01 mark before closing the door for good. Tupua hit a jumper at the end of a shot clock to put Lake Stevens up 41-33, and Eyman nailed a 3-pointer to make it 44-33 with four minutes remaining. The Vikings allowed just one point the rest of the way.

“(It’s a) very surreal feeling,” Tupua said. “We pulled out a really good win tonight. You know. … its losers out, glad we had the win.”

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