Advertisement

Vikings overcome 15-point deficit to advance to quarterfinals

Feb. 28—Box Score

At Spokane Arena

VIKINGS 69, ARCHERS 68

Summit Classical Christian23 13 21 11 — 68

Mossyrock18 13 17 21 — 69

Summit Classical Christian (68) — Hodo 31, Hyde 10, Milojevich 9, Gledhill 9, Simon 9

Mossyrock (69) — Munoz 19, Fry 17, Bigbee 17, Isom 7, Cooper 5, Vigre 4

SPOKANE — As the final shot sailed and the buzzer sounded, the Mossyrock Vikings poured onto the court to celebrate.

The Vikings were down by as much as 15 in their Round of 12 matchup against Summit Classical Christian, but they chipped away over the final quarter and a half and took a 69-68 lead on a Tyce Vigre mid-range jumper with 9.8 seconds to play.

It was the first time they had the lead since the first quarter, and the basket held as the game-winner when the Vikings came away with the defensive stop to seal the win.

"They weren't gonna let that game get away," Mossyrock coach Tom Kelly said. "For them guys to come back, that says everything about them. Unbelievable."

The Mossyrock comeback kicked into gear late in the third, but prior to that, not much went the Vikings' way.

The Archers built their lead by connecting from deep nine times in the first 21 minutes of the game, led by Trey Hodo, who hit four.

"We just couldn't get on the shooters," Ross said.

Mossyrock was able to keep up early, but the Vikings struggled with ball security. They turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, while the Archers only gave away the ball three times.

After halftime, Kelly had to call a timeout just 50 seconds into the third, as the Archers scored a quick five points to push their lead to 12.

"Things weren't great," Kelly said.

During timeouts, senior Zack Munoz took a knee in the middle of the huddle and spoke to his teammates, giving them encouragement and keeping the confidence up despite the scoreline.

"I think it means a lot to them," Munoz said. "It means so much to me being able to be that guy that can talk to my team like that and motivate them."

It was the Mossyrock defense that kickstarted an 8-0 run in the final moments of the third, as the Vikings scored six points in a flurry off two steals.

The defense continued to clamp down in the fourth quarter, and with each stop, the murmur from the bench, student section, and crowd slowly transitioned into a roar.

"The bench is going crazy, our student sections and our fans are going crazy," Munoz said. "The intensity just rose, I think we fed off it and just kept going ... It just gives me the chills. It's so awesome to have all this support for us."

Munoz finished with a team-high 19 points and five rebounds, while Shaun Fry and Lenz Bigbee added 17 points each.

Both Fry and Bigbee had seen limited minutes over the course of the season, but both came through on Wednesday. This was Bigbee's first game back in over a month, as the forward had to battle back from a broken finger and a sprained ACL.

The lesson he learned about himself was not just applicable in his rehab, but in Mossyrock's win as well.

"If you have that determined in your mind that you want to come back, you have a goal," Bigbee said. "And if you push towards that goal, you can always get it."

The Vikings (17-7) are through to the semifinals, where they'll meet No. 1 Lummi Nation at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

The two teams met over the winter break, and Mossyrock lost that matchup 73-53.

"We've seen this team before," Munoz said. "I'm hoping we can come away with the W and just play our game."