Meadowdale’s boys basketball teams hoped to advance from Friday’s loser-out District 1 tournament games at Jackson High School. In fact, a pair of wins would set up a showdown Saturday between the two rivals with a berth in the state regionals at stake. Instead, thanks to both teams suffering from a scoring drought in their respective games, their seasons came to an end with losses: Meadowdale lost to Shorecrest 70-55 and Edmonds-Woodway was defeated by Arlington 62-28.
The Mavericks played the first game of the night against the Scots from Shorecrest. After watching the Scots open with six straight points, the Mavs’ Will Schafer led a charge to close the gap to two after the first quarter. Haben Tekle’s 3-pointer gave Meadowdale its first lead of the game at 18-17 early in the second quarter. It would turn out to be the last lead of the contest as the Scots scored the next six points and led 33-27 at the break.
The third quarter proved to be Meadowdale’s downfall as the Mavs went scoreless until the 2:52 mark of the frame, when Colton Walsh split a pair of free throws. By this time, the Scots had scored 13 straight, opening up a 19-point lead. The Mavs bounced back, scoring eight straight of their own, only to have the Scots’ JD Scott hit a half-court shot as time expired, giving the Shorecrest a 16-point advantage.
With their season on the line and seven seniors playing potentially their last minutes of high school basketball, the Mavs fought back, pulling within nine with a little over two minutes left. Schafer again led the rally with six of his game-high 16 points. Maverick coach Roger O’Neill spoke highly of Schafer, ”He’s a skilled basketball player, but more than that he’s a great leader,” O’Neill said.
The Scots’ JD Scott again put the dagger in the Mavs, hitting back-to-back 3s to extend the lead to what would turn out the be the final difference of 15. O’Neill then let the seniors earn the ovation they earned, bringing in the future to play the final minute of the season. “Our guys always kept fighting and we were chipping away,” said O’Neill. If maybe we’d had a few more minutes, we could have come back.”
Two weeks ago, the Mavericks weren’t even sure they’d be in the District tournament, having to survive a play-in game just to get here. O’Neill was proud of the way the team came together down the stretch, ”We just kept getting better. It took awhile to find our identity, and guys just evolved and learned their roles.”
The seven Maverick seniors were Schafer, who lead the team with 16 points; Daniel Barhoum,who had 11; Justin Chambers with 10; Drew Harvey with 2; Okeoma Okoro with 2 plus Mason Harvey and Tommy Dimmock. “Happy looking back at all the memories,” said Schafer, “but sad the way it ended.”
Shorecrest (18-5) 17 16 19 18 -70
Meadowdale (12-12) 15 12 9 19-55
Meadowdale Scoring: Will Schafer 16, Colton Walsh 6, Drew Harvey 2, Daniel Barhoum 11, Cole Nelson 2, Haben Tekle 6, Justin Chambers 10, Okeoma Okoro 2
— By Jeff Smarr