Boys basketball falls short of state tourney


Evelynn Li

The team huddles around head coach Gregory Lowell in the final seconds of their 68-67 win against Bothell High School.

As 2018 has pushed into 2019, the Inglemoor boys continued to impress as they clinched the KingCo crown division with a conference record of 10-3 (16-3 overall).

Junior Peter Hansen credited the team’s familiarity with each other as a key factor in their success.

“Our core group of guys has been playing together since my freshman year, and it’s showing this year because of how well we know each other. We’ve all taken huge steps up in our game, and it’s contributing to the success of the team,” Hansen said. “Also, Coach Lowell has been able to control our group of personalities really well, so huge credit to the coach.”

From the start of the year, the Vikings looked good together, bursting out to a perfect 6-0 start. Following the perfect start, Inglemoor suffered its first loss of the year in a 62-41 road loss to Bothell a game where the Cougs sank 13 shots from the three-point line.

Despite the loss, the Vikings bounced back with an even longer winning streak of seven straight games, featuring conference wins over Redmond, Skyline, Newport, and North Creek (62-54, 66-49, 84-52 and 49-45 respectively). In addition to the conference winning streak, the Vikings took home the Bellevue College title with a decisive 62-42 victory over Interlake in the championship game.

“I think we’ve been successful this year because the whole mentality of the team has changed,” Hansen said. “We’ve developed the idea that we can win every game, and also we’ve all put in the extra work outside of the gym.”

Heading into the KingCo tournament, the Vikings were led by junior guard Zach Shimek who led the team in both points per game with 16.1, as well as assists with 3.3. On the defensive side of the ball, Hansen led the team with a whopping 9.5 rebounds per game and was a team leader in blocks as well.

“Our mindset going into playoffs is playing every team like it’s Mt. Si or Federal Way [two of the top teams in WA]. We want to take it one step at a time,” Hansen said. “We’ll never be satisfied until we’re playing for that state championship.”

Inglemoor closed out the regular season in a dramatic fashion, edging out Bothell in a home rematch 68-67 after a missed free throw at the end. Shimek led the way offensively with 25 points and shooting over 60% on the night. The home crowd was a factor as well, providing constant energy, and the win pushed the Vikings to 16-3 heading into the postseason.

Despite the best regular season record in recent memory, the Vikings fell to Issaquah 59-56 in the KingCo semis, followed by a 57-52 loss to Redmond.

After the two early losses, Inglemoor worked their way up the Wes-King playoff bracket, and it all came down to a fifth-place game against Mariner High School, the winner would advance to Regionals, the loser headed home.

It was a hotly contested game that came down to the final seconds, but when the Vikings failed to convert on their last chance the final buzzer sounded, leaving them short of state with a 50-47 loss.

For junior guard, and the team’s three-point specialist Dawson Tucker, it was a bitter-sweet ending.

“I feel like this season was both a success and a disappointment… we knew we had what it took to go further but we just barely fell short,” Tucker said, “However I couldn’t be more proud of what we did this season, and I am excited to come back next season and prove how talented we really are.”