Prep boys basketball: Royals end 10-year drought with 47-46 win over Mavs

Harrison White (Meadowdale) elevates for his shot. (Photos by Ken Pickle)

Tuesday night’s cross-town boys basketball featured a team, Meadowdale, that needed a win to enhance their playoff chances, versus Lynnwood, which was just looking for a conference win. Thanks to a suffocating fourth-quarter defense that held the Mavericks to just seven points, the Royals hung on for a 47-46 victory. Not only did it mark the first Wesco South win for the home team, but it also was the first time since Jan. 6, 2006 that the Royals have prevailed against the Mavericks.

“To these kids’ credit, they still want to play, it would be easy to quit, but they don’t,” said first-year Royals coach Bobby Hinnenkamp. “The kids just have a lot of heart, a lot of effort. They sell out on every possession.”

The teams started the second half with the Mavs up by six, a lead they would hold onto as both teams scored 17 in third quarter.

The Royals took their first lead of the game with just 1:20 left, going up by one as junior guard Ryan Rapanan took a pass out from junior post Eli Edwards and calmly nailed the three, his only basket of the quarter.

“I just take the opportunities when they present themselves, ” said Rapanan. “I pride myself on defense, but I’m not afraid to take a shot.”

Eli Edwards (Lynnwood) blocks Lee Bruemmer’s shot.

Undaunted by the events, Lee Bruemmer drove and hit a running banker and Meadowdale regained the lead. After turnovers by both teams, Royals senior post Tanner Mack scored on a spin-move, his game-leading 16th and 17th points with 33 seconds left for what turned out to be the game-winning basket.

Tanner Mack (Lynnwood) snags an errant pass.

“I have a clean mind,” Mack said of his basket. “I just react, my dad tells me to not over think it.”

Meadowdale, still with time on the clock, first had the ball stolen by Royals’ junior Yoseph Habtemariam. “I know I’m one of the defensive leaders, and I just went after it,” he said. With the Mavs forced to foul, the Royals had a chance to put some distance between their rivals, but missed the front end of a one-and-one. Meadowdale’s final possession ended when a tightly guarded shot was missed and Mack got his ninth rebound of the night.

“This feels good, I know we haven’t beat Meadowdale in a long time,” said Habtermariam.

Tyree Carson (Meadowdale) drives the baseline.

The third quarter was by far the highest scoring of the night for both teams. With a narrow, six-point lead, the Mavs scored the first seven points of the quarter, all in the first minute, and raced to a 13-point advantage. The Royals answered right back with eight of their own, featuring threes from both Rapanan and Bryce Milne, who also added a pair of free throws.

With just a few games left in the regular season, the Mavericks need to keep winning to have a chance at the fourth playoff spot. The Mavs play games against Shorecrest and Shorewood before closing out the season Feb. 5, hosting Mountlake Terrace. The Royals, trying to ride the victory, still have four games left. As Rapanan put it, “it’s just a chance to get more wins and build for next year.”

Lynnwood 4-12-17-14-47: Mack 17, Milne 10, Rapanan 7, Habtermariam 5, Edwards 4 Vasquez 3

Meadowdale: 13-9-17-7-46: White 12, Carson 7, Barhoum 7, Bruemmer 6, Heilpap 5, Walsh 4, Tingstad 3, Meekins 2

— By Jeff Smarr

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