Surprising outcome for first ‘Battle of the Vikings’

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It’s still early in the season, but after four games, it appeared that the Curtis boys basketball team was yet again destined to regain their perch atop the pecking order of the 4A South Puget Sound League. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the squad from Puyallup put the rest of the league on notice that the title chase is going to be a real one this season.

In the first “Battle of the Vikings,” Puyallup overcame a cold-shooting, 23-14 haltime deficit to close within two points with 4:38 remaining in the fourth quarter. From that point on, Puyallup outscored Curtis 15-4 to pull away for a somewhat surprising 53-44 victory. The buckets froze up for Curtis in the fourth quarter to the tune of just six points of output, while Puyallup dropped a solid 21 on their rivals. Puyallup senior Jaeden Ingram paced Puyallup with 22 points for the home win.

The 4A SPSL landscape could look very different by the time the two schools meet again on the basketball court. A total of 12 games will have passed and the league standings could look entirely different. However, it’s pretty clear that these two squads are the cream of the crop. Puyallup’s win moved them to 3-0 in league play, and 4-0 overall. The loss was Curtis’ first of the season, putting the Vikings at 4-1 in both league and overall play. Puyallup will visit Curtis on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m.

Puyallup boasts one of the tallest line-ups in the state with 7-0 senior Zane Foster joined by 6-9 junior Ethan Lockard and 6-8 senior Dylan Rhoades. If this team continues to gel, it could become a nightmare match-up for any team in the playoffs. Keep your eye on what’s going on in the Puyallup Valley.

In the other “Battle of the Vikings,” the Curtis girls were tough hosts, hanging a 56-33 victory on Puyallup. The win pushed Curtis’ league record to 4-1 and 4-2 overall. Puyallup slipped to 1-3 and 2-3, respectively. Puyallup will host the second matchup on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m.

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