As fate would have it, the final game of the 2019-2020 Wesco League girls’ basketball schedule provided the Lynnwood Royals with a big challenge. And although the team didn’t necessarily ace the test, Coach Brandon Newby and his squad walked away from the game feeling good about their effort.
The Royals gave the league champion Shorecrest Highlanders a scare on Monday, coming up just short in a 66-60 loss at Shorecrest High School.
Lynnwood was down by 18 points, 58-40, with 5:22 to go in the game, but climbed back to within four points at 64-60 with 22 seconds left. The Scots only secured the victory — their 19th of the season with just one loss — after Lynnwood’s Nakia Boston missed her final two shots of the game and the Scots sunk two of four free throws in the final seconds.
While Shorecrest celebrated their 2A/3A Wesco League title after their victory, the Royals left the court with smiles on their faces too.
“I told the girls, I said we’re treating this like a playoff game,” Newby explained. “We have to get in that playoff mentality where every possession matters. If we get down, we’re not going to quit. We’re going to keep playing until the horn goes off and we’ll see what happens in the end. We were down 16 points at half; I said we need to get this to at least 10 by the fourth (quarter) — I think we got it to 12. Then we got it to single digits and then got it to four … and it’s anybody’s ballgame at this point and time. So I really liked how we were playing.”
The Royals and Scots were tied after the first quarter 14-14 and Lynnwood ended up being the higher-scoring team during the second half 39-30, but it was a 22-7 Shorecrest advantage in the second quarter that put the Royals in a big hole.
Newby wasn’t disappointed by his team’s effort in the fateful second quarter — they just ran into a hot-shooting team that couldn’t be cooled off. Shorecrest converted four shots from behind the 3-point arc in the second quarter alone, eight in the game.
“Our defensive approach was good, it’s just they were better,” Newby said. “They hit eight 3’s, I think, from at least 22-feet or more; you know, that’s supposed to be low-percentage shot but they were hitting them tonight.”
“Eight 3-pointers was the difference in the ballgame tonight,” he added.
Kiana Lino led Shorecrest with 21 points; Amanda Lee and Sydney VanNess added 17 and 15 points respectively. Lynnwood senior Nakia Boston totaled 36 points to lead all scorers in the game.
The Royals finish the regular season with a Wesco League record of 8-6, 8-12 overall, and earn the No. 7 seed in the District 1 3A Girls Basketball Tournament. Lynnwood will host a tournament play-in loser-out contest on Wednesday, Feb. 12, against No. 10-seed Marysville-Getchell. With a win on Wednesday, the Royals would qualify for the double-elimination portion of the tourney starting with a game at Arlington on Friday, Feb. 14.
Only the top three teams from the district tournament will move to the regional round of the 3A state tourney later this month, but Newby thinks his team can challenge the top higher seeds and be a surprise.
“We think we can be a dark horse; we think we can get one of those spots,” Newby said. “We’re playing really good basketball right now. Anything goes in a situation like this. In our district, anybody can win on any given night, and you’re seeing it as these games are wrapping up.”
“So I like our chances with our squad right now,” he concluded.
In other Lynnwood sports on Monday, the Royals boys basketball team closed out their 2019-2020 campaign with a 63-40 loss to Shorecrest on Senior Night at Lynnwood High School. The Royals’ finish the season 1-13 in 2A/3A Wesco League play, 2-18 overall.
Prep Girls Basketball: Lynnwood at Shorecrest, Feb. 10
Lynnwood 14 7 16 23 — 60
Shorecrest 14 22 13 17 — 66
Lynnwood individual scoring: Nakia Boston 36, Madison Steele 7, Chloe Clark 5, Arianna Ilog 5, Marika Canda 3, Emily Whybark 2, Katelyn Kesinger 2, Cassidy Johnsen
Shorecrest individual scoring: Kiana Lino 21, Amanda Lee 17, Sydney VanNess 15, Maura Weaver 6, Leila Hosn 4, Taylor Svendsen 3, Jordan Tikalsky
Records: Lynnwood 8-6 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 8-12 overall; Shorecrest 13-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 19-1 overall
Lynnwood next game: versus Marysville-Getchell; Wednesday, Feb. 12; 7 p.m. at Lynnwood High School (District 1 3A Girls Basketball Tournament play-in loser-out game)
Prep Boys Basketball: Shorecrest at Lynnwood, Feb. 10
Shorecrest 20 15 12 16 — 63
Lynnwood 15 7 10 8 — 40
Lynnwood individual scoring: Thanh Vo 12, Jordan Glover 7, Josh Siscar 6, Taequan McMillan 6, Lucas Shiferaw 3, Abraham Kidane 2, Tommy McMahon 2, Nahome Neguse 2, Zach Newson, Jarney McDougall
Shorecrest individual scoring: Elijah Johnson 15, Newton Pepple 11, Tim Opany 10, Dante Recabarren 10, Hayden Bohag 9, Jack Sims 4, Manolo Roque 3, Michael Atendido 1, Marcus Tidwell, Ben Lockwood
Records: Lynnwood 1-13 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 2-18 overall; Shorecrest 10-4 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 16-4 overall
Lynnwood next game: 2019-2020 season completed
— By Doug Petrowski