Tommies suffer 2nd straight narrow loss

LAKE STEVENS — As Marysville boys basketball visited Lake Stevens in a clash of teams tied for first place in Wesco North, the game more than lived up to its potential.

The Tomahawks built an early lead but Lake Stevens got hot in the second quarter and never cooled down, tying the game up in the fourth quarter and forcing overtime. The Vikings won there, outscoring Marysville 9-3 for a 51-45 come-from-behind victory Jan. 27.

"They kept hanging in there," said M-P coach Bary Gould. "I don't feel like we had a letdown defensively. I think they got hot with the threes."

As they have all season, the Tomahawks built a steady lead with dependable team play. Six players contributed to the team's 26-19 halftime lead. On the other side of the ball, fouls kept Lake Stevens' Shane Kaska on the sideline for much of the first three quarters of the game, forcing more of the Vikings' offense onto the shoulders of center Sean Stickney.

But coming out of halftime, Lake Stevens started getting contributions from all over the court, including three-pointers from Arvid Isaksen and Aaron Maw that helped close in on the Tomahawk lead. Isaksen hit two free throws at the end of the third quarter to draw within a possession of the Tomahawks, a margin that would remain intact for nearly the entire fourth quarter.

Nick Forsythe and Troy Toler hit field goals in the fourth quarter for Tomahawk leads, but Stickney got his 16th and 17th points to tie the game 42-42 with less than a minute to go. A pressure defense cornered the Tomahawks with the ball near their bench where it went out of bounds, resulting in a Lake Stevens possession with 33 seconds remaining. The Vikings drove down, trying to win the game in regulation, but despite several offensive rebounds, the ball didn't go in.

A Toler trey was all the Tomahawks could muster in overtime. Toler and senior guard Ryan Lanphere led the Tommies with 10 points each.

It was the second straight game in which the Tomahawks watched an early lead evaporate in the final minutes.

"I told my guys to battle hard, do the best you can," Gould said.

With the loss, M-P fell to third place, behind Lake Stevens and Stanwood.

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