One thing is for sure – the Puyallup Vikings sure know how to shoot the basketball from deep.
And they did it proficiently Wednesday night by making 13 3-pointers.
And yet, the Vikings nearly blew a big lead in the final five minutes before settling for a 63-60 victory over ninth-ranked Sumner in Puyallup.
Luke Holcomb led all scorers with 20 points for the Vikings. Cobi Campbell added 19 points. Champ Spencer paced Sumner with 15 points.
With the win, Puyallup coach Scott Campbell and his team swept the season series from the Spartans, and remain tied with Olympia atop the 4A SPSL standings.
“For sure, it is a really big win – on a lot of levels,” Campbell said.
Here are three game observations:
IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE – PUYALLUP DID A BETTER JOB LOCATING ITS GO-TO SCORERS
For the better part of three seasons, Cobi Campbell has been burying deep 3-pointers on every team in the 4A SPSL. Holcomb is just starting to show he can be a volume scorer, too. And ninth grader Taki Uluilakepa is a pretty solid third outside-shooting option.
“I thought we played really well (getting open shots) … which you have to do against their zone,” Scott Campbell said. “With our personnel, we are trying to get good catch-and-shoot (3-pointers).”
Sumner coach Jake Jackson agreed.
“Their team has bought in to finding the shooter,” Jackson said.
JAKE JACKSON LAYS DOWN FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP PRINCIPLES FOR HIS SQUADS. SUMNER IS NOT CHECKING THE BOX ON TWO OF THEM
Jackson preaches the five program checkpoints for championships.
They are skill, chemistry, luck, health and preparation with application.
The Spartans have plenty of talent. They are deep. They like one another. But their health and execution has been spotty, at best.
“We are a deep team, a talented team,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to stay true to the intricate details.”
After trailing 60-44 with less than five minutes to go, Sumner did rally to have a look at a game-tying 3-pointer, but Josh Lear’s attempt from the deep left-center arc was too strong at the buzzer.
IT’S NOT OFTEN YOU FIND TWO LEAGUE CONTENDERS THAT MAINLY RELY ON ZONE DEFENSE IN THE HALFCOURT
Blessed with 6-foot-11 Zane Foster, 6-9 Dylan Rhoades and 6-8 Kendall Munson in the frontcourt, Campbell decided to utilize a lot of plenty of matchup zone defense last season.
And he has stuck with it this season, even with a considerably shorter lineup.
“It’s a good fallback from our press,” Campbell said. “Our pressure is causing teams a little bit of problems.”
Meanwhile, Jackson visited former UW women’s coach Mike Neighbors back in 2013, and saw how the Huskies incorporated a 2-1-2 zone as a secondary defensive look.
“We’ve made it more of a staple because it condenses our opponents’ playbook,” Jackson said.
But on Wednesday, it also allowed 13 made 3-pointers.
“You’ve got to be dancing and moving around, and once the passer picks up his dribble, react the shoulder of the passer,” Jackson said. “We should have all guys (moving) that way, but tonight we had guys flat-footed.”