By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor
Lynnwood stayed the course against Arlington in Friday night’s 4A District 1 girls basketball championship game.
The Royals’ resolve paid off handsomely as Lynnwood won a second straight district crown with a hard-fought 46-34 victory at Glacier Peak High School.
“It means everything,” said Lynnwood sophomore Jordyn Edwards, who led the Royals with 13 points. “We worked so hard and it’s just good to have a good result for this game.”
The defensive focus for the Royals was to limit Arlington’s 3-point shots. In the last two meetings (last year’s district title game and a regular season game this year), the Eagles got off to good starts against Lynnwood by making their 3-point shots.
Not this time.
Lynnwood (22-1) jumped out to a 10-1 lead early in the first quarter but saw Arlington battle back in the second quarter. The Royals went into halftime with a 20-14 advantage that could have been closer if Arlington (19-4) hadn’t missed five of six free throws in the first half.
Lynnwood coach Everett Edwards told his players to keep doing what they were doing at the start of the game.
“We talked about just continuing to try to limit their 3-point shots,” coach Edwards said. “Same game plan. No major adjustments. No major changes.”
Lynnwood then stretched its lead to 38-24 by the end of the third quarter and kept the lead in double digits in the final period except when Arlington cut the advantage to 9 points, 39-30, with 3:33 left in the contest.
“The second half … we played better defense,” Jordyn Edwards said. “We shared the ball better. That was just our goal for the whole game. We did that better in the second half.”
Coach Edwards credited the Royals’ defense for the victory.
“We persevered tonight,” he said. “We competed and played good defense against a very good team and tonight was a night that we didn’t play our best offense. But as usual our defense kind of came through for us.
“We were able to get a lead. We literally held on to it.”
Lynnwood had several good looks at the basket but seemed to struggle to put the ball in the hoop, coach Edwards said. “Maybe a lot of that had to do with Arlington’s defense. But I think it’s a situation where we’re going to have to play better offense come next week.”
Arlington’s Emma Janousek had a team-high 9 points.
Lynnwood advances to the regional tournament and will be playing on Saturday, March 1 against a team and a site to be determined.
The Royals’ confidence could not be any higher, coach Edwards said.
The addition of junior Monty Cooper, who scored 11 points, and freshman Kelsey Rogers to the rotation along with the return of the Edwards sisters (Jasmin and Jordyn), sophomore Mikayla Pivec and senior Grace Douglas make Lynnwood one of the favorites to win the state title. Lynnwood is ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press poll.
“I feel good about our confidence and very good about our chemistry,” coach Edwards said.”