By T.J. Cotterill
Lake Stevens High wanted no business dealing with Kentwood in a closely contested game.
The remedy? Put the Vikings away with a heavy dose of Brooke Pahukoa.
Pahukoa, a News Tribune first-team all-state senior guard, scored 22 of her game-high 34 points (13 for 24 field goals) in the first half as the Vikings cruised to a 52-36 victory in the quarterfinals of the Hardwood Classic on Thursday.
Pahukoa’s scoring outburst was the most she scored since dropping 42 in the second game of the season in a 46-point win against Marysville-Pilchuck.
She started off hot against the Conquerors and helped Lake Stevens build a 23-10 lead after the first quarter. Four of Kentwood’s past five wins came by two points or less, including a 61-60 regional round victory against Lynnwood in double overtime last week.
“Brooke just got really hot, and we couldn’t get our shots to fall,” said Kentwood’s Sarah Toeaina, who led the Conqueroros with 16 points. “It felt like we had a lot of jitters out there.”