Winners of 14 Straight, Are Lake Girls Ready for State Title Run?
The eighth-ranked Vikings open postseason play Saturday, 7 pm tip in Lake Stevens. Two and they're thru (to State).
LAKE STEVENS — The 16-2 Wesco Champion Lake Stevens Viking GBB squad is set to open postseason play Saturday in front of the home crowd.
Winners of fourteen straight, the Viks boat-raced Wesco competition behind superstar production from senior forward Nisa Ellis, sophomore guard Keira Tupua and freshman standout Noelani Tupua.
Each of the three All-State contenders averaged around 17 points per game, sharing the wealth along the way. It’s because of this wealth of star power — combined with some serious height (the Viks start three six footers: both forwards are effectively six feet; so is freshman guard Noe Tupua, Keira is 5’7 and point guard Kam Wenz is 5’9. ) that Lake is a viable threat for a deep state run.
There won’t be many teams with that kind of across the court height. For the Viks, the height is augmented by skill - they’re all ball handlers, passers and shooters.
After that, the girls seemed to reach peak efficiency, blasting past outclassed opponents with scorelines including 70-20 and 46-18.
In addition to the star turns from the three high-octane standouts, Lake has relied on the ever dependable senior guard Kamryn Wenz, who functions as a primary ball handler much of the game, taking some pressure off the Tupua sisters. Wenz is a demon on defense and an extremely unselfish leader.
It’s also the imposing nature of the Viks lineup — the aggressive attitude with which they play (checkout the Keira highlight below) and the high end star power tempered with experience and leadership that makes the Viks a threat this year.
Speaking of star power and leadership, Nisa Ellis delivered perhaps the most dominant performance of the season thus far, blowing up for 36 and the decisive bucket in a two point conference-opener at Kamiak.
(see Instagram highlight of Keira Tupua below)
Junior forward Grif Eyman is sporting a refined jumper and has always passed, rebounded and defended with toughness and sophistication.
Finally, sophomore guard Tessa Anastasi has shown she’s ready for playoff rotation and big game contributions in the games J425 has attended thus far (we’ll be at all the rest of ‘em).
The Viking opponent for Saturday is determined by the result of tonight’s District 1/2 play-in game. Either way, the Saturday schedule is the same.
(See clip of Nisa Ellis below).
The Viks are seeded second in the tourney, opposite one seed and overall top ranked team in the state, Woodinville.
The Viks can’t face Woodinville before the District title game, at which point both contestants would be through to state.
In short, the Vikings will basically qualify for state as long as they book two straight wins before they absorb two straight losses.
In reality, J425 expects the Viks to extend the winning streak to 16 ahead of an enticing possible matchup with Woodinville that could serve as a preview of state tourney games to follow. (Scroll all the way down for a Noelani Tupua clip).