On basketball courts in Mill Creek and Bothell, the Inglemoor boys and girls teams each tacked another victory in their win columns on Saturday in the 4A Wes-King District Tournament.
And now, the Vikings are each one win away from notching state-tournament berths.
The Viking boys beat Mariner, 64-58, on Saturday and will next face Woodinville at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals at Bothell High. The winner earns a place in the title game and a state berth, while the loser continues to fight for a state spot. It’s the same scenario for the girls, who beat Newport, 59-50, on Saturday and will next face Glacier Peak at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Jackson High.
On the boys’ side on Saturday, Zach Shimek poured in 30 points, including a 3-point buzzer-beater to end the first half and a pair of bursting drives for layins near the end of the game.
Also for Inglemoor, Dawson Tucker tallied 11 points and Peter Hansen added 10 points. Two of Tucker’s points came off a swooping Shimek pass, which Tucker snagged with one hand and flipped it to the other in one fluid motion before the ball glided through the net.
Hansen joked that Shimek’s 30 was a light day for him.
“It was a good team effort, especially on the defensive end. That’s a good team that we played and we played hard on D and our shots were falling. They were letting us get to our spots. We just played a good all-around game,” Shimek said.
Shimek said he’ll take whatever the defense gives him and thrives on scoring outside or inside. Playing hard with his teammates is a plus as the games get tougher.
“My teammates give me all the confidence in the world and they let me go do what I need to do,” Shimek said.
The Viks are a close squad and encourage each other to live up to their expectations, and that helps make each player better, Hansen said. Play your role and when it’s your time to step up, make it count, he added.
“Our chemistry is insane and we’ve been playing with each other non-stop for the last three years. Our practice intensity drives us to the game,” said Hansen, noting that head coach Greg Lowell works them hard in practice and they have a solid mindset when the ball tips off in games.
For the girls against Newport, the Vikings led 27-18 at halftime and held a 44-29 advantage after three quarters. Lucy Young was tops in the scoring column with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Colbi Zorich and Katelyn Laccinole tallied 12 points each.
“Coming back from the Woodinville game (loss), we definitely had a lot stronger week at practice. I think we just came in wanting to play like how we play at practice and wanting to get ourselves back to who we really are,” Zorich said. “I think just keeping the right mindset in the game and working as one — as a family.”
Laccinole said it was refreshing to rebound and grow from the Woodinville game in order to put in a solid effort against Newport. Head coach Kristina Schumacher has said that team chemistry, leadership and a defensive mentality are crucial to the Vikings’ success.
“We really focus on valuing every possession,” Laccinole said. “The fact that we have the ability to be here and other teams don’t, we need to make sure to hone in on the certain things, and when we do that, everything else just comes together.”