SNOHOMISH — Lake Stevens refused to take a third consecutive loss.
Two nights removed from being on the wrong end of a buzzer-beater, the Vikings had tasted defeat two too many times.
Enough was enough, and even a double-digit halftime deficit couldn’t stop sophomore Raigan Reed and senior Kylee Griffen from returning Lake Stevens back to its winning ways.
“In the locker room it was so quiet,” said Reed of the halftime atmosphere Friday night with the Vikings trailing Glacier Peak by 13. “We were like, ‘We have to be better. We have to play better than that.’ We beat this team last time, so it’s crazy we were down 13 at halftime. We got in the huddle, and I was like, ‘We are winning this game. There is no way we are going to lose this game.’”
Reed upheld her declaration. The sophomore sensation scored 20 of her game-high 27 points during the second half, Kylee Griffen scored 10 of her 14 points during the final two quarters and Lake Stevens rallied from a deep hole to earn a 66-58 Wesco 4A comeback road win against Glacier Peak.
The win placed the Vikings (12-3, 8-1 Wesco 4A) atop the league standings, while the Grizzlies (9-6, 7-2) dropped to second.
Glacier Peak junior Alexyss Newman was brilliant in the first half when she scored 20 of her team-high 24 points. Abbie Juozapaitis added 15, but the night belonged to Reed.
The 5-foot-6 guard hit four 3s, continuously knifed through Glacier Peak’s defense before finishing at the hoop and was automatic from the free-throw line.
No bucket, though, was more important than a 25-foot dagger 3-pointer that put Lake Stevens up 64-58 with 1:05 to play.
“This is one of those moments where she grew up a little more,” said Vikings coach Randy Edens of Reed. “It ebbs and flows with a young player. You can tell when she stuck that big 3, I felt like we were going to get it done. You want to be in that big moment, and the moment wasn’t too big for her, and I’m really exited for her.”
The Vikings needed every ounce of Reed’s performance to claw their way back into the game. Through the first two quarters, a hangover from Wednesday’s dramatic loss to Kamiak seemed evident.
Glacier Peak, thanks in large part to dominant play from Newman, built a 40-27 halftime edge. The Grizzlies led 24-20 early in the second quarter, but ended the half on a 16-7 run that included back-to-back-to-back turnovers leading to points right before the break.
Lake Stevens was completely out of sorts.
“I though the first half was probably some of the best basketball we have played all year,” Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill said. “A lot of credit to Lake Stevens. I told the girls in the locker room (at halftime), ‘Be ready, they are going to come after you,’ and they did.”
The Vikings opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run and only trailed 40-36 three minutes in the second half. Griffen and Reed began to take over the game, Newman wasn’t able to get the looks she had in the first half and Glacier Peak tightened up.
“Kylee and Raigan, they both attacked us and we were kind of flat-footed,” Hill said. “I said in the timeouts, ‘They just want it more than you.’ The first half we gave up very few loose balls, the 50-50 balls. In the second half, they got them all.”
Lake Stevens outscored Glacier Peak 22-7 during the third quarter, taking a 49-47 advantage into the fourth.
Grizzlies freshman Aaliyah Collins scored Glacier Peak’s first seven points to give GP a 54-51 lead with 5:15 to play, but a triple by Reed put the Vikings in front 56-54 minutes later. With the game tied at 58, Lake Stevens senior Taylor Smith hit a crucial 3 to give the Vikings a 61-58 advantage with 1:50 to go. Reed followed with a triple of her own the next time down to seal it.
“We had a lot of fire in us,” Reed said. “We knew we couldn’t lose, and Glacier Peak, that’s our rival, and you can’t lose to your rivals.”