The Lynnwood girls basketball team faced the second of three 4A Wesco teams on their non-conference schedule Monday night, when they hosted the Marauders from Mariner High School. A feisty start by Mariner kept them within three points for much of the first half, before Lynnwood wore them down and pulled away for a 58-42 victory at Lynnwood High School Monday night.
Mariner came out aggressive against Lynnwood’s characteristic full court pressure, causing the Royals to get themselves in early foul trouble. The Marauders only scored three baskets, but were 7 of 8 from the free throw line, ending the first quarter in a 14 – 14 tie with the home team.
The two teams trades scores, neither leading by more than three points early in the second quarter.
With 6:20 remaining in the quarter, Lynnwood’s Nakia Boston committed her third personal foul, earning her a trip to the bench for the remainder of the first half. Her teammate, Vang Vo would join her on the bench with her third foul at 2:02.
That’s when Lynnwood would take advantage of their team depth. Going on a run, outscoring Mariner 17-8 for the quarter, hitting 5 of 7 free throws and a beautiful full court pass from Abby Douglas to Rachel Walsh for an easy lay-in.
Lynnwood lead at the half, 31-22.
“We have some good depth. We have girls that are ready to go, that know what we’re doing and I can plug them in at any time. Katelyn Kesinger did a great job coming off the bench when Nakia got in foul trouble, and really helped us out. Got some good rebounds for us. Got a put back there. That helped us,” said Head Coach Brandon Newby.
That lead proved to be all the Royals would need. They controlled the second half, start to finish, never allowing Mariner to get any closer than eight points.
In the last 32 seconds of the third quarter, Lynnwood’s Rachel Walsh hit a three pointer and Nakia Boston would score on a lay-in that gave the Royals their largest lead to that point, 46-31 headed into the fourth quarter.
Boston would make up for missing much of the second quarter, scoring 9 of her 14 points in the final quarter, cinching the win for the Lynnwood.
“Playing with poise,” Coach Newby said after the game. “When we got up nine, we were good about not letting them come back. I felt that the push at the end of the second quarter, we got another six points there, and extend that lead, then in each quarter we were able to finish, which we really haven’t done in our first couple of games. We were able to finish each one of the quarters tonight, and that really helped.”
Lynnwood played this game without 6-foot-1 senior center, Kia Crawford, who suffered an apparent knee injury on Saturday night in the win against Mountlake Terrace.
With Crawford out, the Royals were left with only one other player at the center position: senior Liz Jones, who has played well for Lynnwood. She scored 12 against Mountlake Terrace and added 6 Monday night, to go with some hard work on the boards rebounding.
“Liz is stepping up big time. Since the summertime. This is her first year on varsity. She’s one that has come through the program, has paid her dues. She had a great summer for us, and she’s just taken that into fall camp and in these first couple of games. Really stepping up.” Said her coach.
The Royals have also been aided the last two games by a new face to the program. Senior Vang Vo, an International transfer student from Vietnam, has come in and played hard minutes, showing off some good passing skills and hard work on defense. Coach Newby feels she has been a great asset coming off the bench for his team.
The Royals play again Wednesday at Glacier Peak in what will be their third non-conference game against 4A Wesco opponents.
“It’s going to be a true test for us. They’re a tough team. I think we’ll know where we stand after that game,” said Newby.
That game will take place at Glacier Peak High School at 7:15 p.m.
Prep Girls Basketball: Mariner at Lynnwood, Dec. 4
Mariner 14 08 09 11 — 42
Lynnwood 14 17 15 12 — 58
Mariner scoring: Taliyah Clark 15, Denisa Grebovic 10, Hannah Hezekiah 7, Tiana Nguyen 5, Nia Hawkins 3, Yuni Septimo-Ruiz 2
Lynnwood scoring: Rachel Walsh 15, Nakia Boston 14, Amayah Kirkman 9, Abby Douglas 8, Liz Jones 6, Vang Vo 3, Katelyn Kesinger 2, Kau’i Pi’ilani 1
Records: Mariner 0-0 in 4A Wesco League, 1-1 overall; Lynnwood 0-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 2-2 overall
Lynnwood next game: versus Glacier Peak, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7:15 p.m. at Glacier Peak High School
–Story and photos by Scott Williams