Senior captain Lucy Young said that her Inglemoor girls basketball team thrives off making comebacks, but it was tough getting back into the game against Woodinville in the 4A KingCo Tournament title contest.
Woodinville led by 11 points at halftime on Feb. 8 at Sammamish High and notched a 57-43 victory to raise its overall record to 22-0. Inglemoor stands at 17-5 overall as the two Northshore teams head into the Wes-King District Tournament on Feb. 15.
“We all knew coming into this game that this is a rivalry team, we had a couple close games against them the past couple years,” said Young, a 4A KingCo first-team selection who will play at the University of California San Diego next season.
Woodinville beat Inglemoor twice this season, and Young noted that the Vikings have returned to the court and played strong after suffering losses.
“I think for us, more than anything, it’s a mental thing,” Young said. “We’ve proven to beat really good teams. We lost to Woodinville in overtime the first time we played them by four. I think capitalizing on people’s mistakes but also just believing that we can beat these good teams (is vital).”
With a key team word of “family” always on their minds, Inglemoor has reaped heaps of success this season, including downing Issaquah, 49-46, on Feb. 7 to advance to the championship game. Another top notch in their victory belt was defeating last year’s state champion Eastlake, 54-41, in December.
Junior Abby Haller led the Vikings with 12 points against Woodinville, and sophomore Colbi Zorich led the way with 10 points against Issaquah, followed by Haller with nine and junior Isabella Reed and senior captain Aina Engelbreckt with eight each. Zorich and Reed tallied 10 points each against Woodinville and hauled in seven rebounds apiece against Issaquah.
Against Woodinville, Haller nailed a jumper and Young drained a 3-pointer to cut the Falcons’ lead to 23-18 in the second quarter. Reed nailed a pair of treys early on to go along with some Haller field goals.
Inglemoor head coach Kristina Schumacher is pleased with the Vikings’ multi-pronged attack.
“It’s good moving forward, ‘cause it’s hard for teams to scout or prepare for when everyone kind of has threats,” she said. “The girls have this appreciation for one another that carries out onto the court. So it helps us find those moments where games are decided by one or two possessions, or the excitement for somebody else to get the big play or the most points. It’s always for somebody else.”
The Vikings don’t field a junior varsity team, so they travel the strength-in-numbers route with 14 players and two managers to along with assistants Taylor Peacock and Nathan Cowan.
Practices are ultra-competitive and the girls bring high energy to the court at all times. Team chemistry, leadership and a defensive mentality are the pillars of the Vikings’ game this season.
“What we learned is that we’re one of the top teams in the state. This is a position we wanna be in,” said Schumacher, whose squad competed in the state tournament last season. “With game tactics and strategies, just working on focusing on what we do well and not letting other teams change how we play.”
Young said, that like a family, the players stick together through thick and thin — wins and losses, shots falling or missing their mark. They keep pushing, she added.
“Every text that our coach will send and every announcement, she finishes off with ‘Family.’ All the huddles I finish it off with, ‘Family on three,’” Young said. “Just working for each other, not for yourselves.”