Prep girls basketball: Favorable spot in district tournament for Royals following Wednesday victory

Entering the night, the Lynnwood girls Basketball team had just three games remaining on their regular season schedule before the start of next week’s district tournament. Sitting in sixth place in the 3A Wesco standings, the Royals needed a win against the visiting 10th-place Marysville Getchell Chargers to solidify their post-season position. Controlling the game from the start, Lynnwood rolled to a 70-45 victory Wednesday night on their home court at Lynnwood High School.

The Royals used a familiar formula of intense full-court pressure and a fast break transition offense to bolt to a 22-8 lead after the first quarter and a twenty-point lead at halftime, 36-16.

Leading the way for the Royals in the first half was sophomore guard Amayah Kirkman, who had 14 points and six rebounds.

“She’s one that, you know, if we’re going south, she’ll reset us, and get us going in the right direction. It’s always great to have a player like that,” said coach Brandon Newby.

A terrific play off the bench from senior Vang Vo was the highlight of the first half. Vo entered the game and immediately added a boost to the Royals game on both offense and defense. The 5-foot-5 guard had three steals, six hard fought rebounds and three assists to go with two points.

“She did the same thing Friday night against Terrace,” Newby said. “She was a spark plug when we had girls in foul trouble. It’s really been working, that fast line up, getting that fifth guard in there. She’s a spark off the bench getting some quick turnovers and some quick buckets.”

The star of the second half was Nakia Boston for Lynnwood. The sophomore had five steals that, more often than not, turned into quick transition points, as she poured in 12 of her game-high 18 points in the third and fourth quarters.

“It’s nice to have some closers,” Newby said with a smile.

Boston finished with the 18 points, nine total steals, four rebounds and four assists on the night.

Marysville Getchell was able to keep Lynnwood from running away with the game in the second half by hitting seven three-pointers as a team, five of them from sophomore Kortney Crane.

While not necessarily a must-win situation, this certainly was a game that the Royals needed to win to stay in a favorable position looking ahead to post-season play. The fast start allowed their workhorse starters to get some much-needed rest, and their bench to get some crucial game-time experience–all of which will be valuable as the season comes to a close and the playoffs begin next Wednesday, Feb. 7.

“This was a take-care-of-business game for us,” Newby continued. “Got out to an early lead. Lot of defensive pressure to get us that lead so that we could get everyone some playing time tonight and get some rest. Senior night Friday against Everett, then Arlington on Monday, which is going to be a pretty big game. I think both of us will be coming into that game 7-4 and that game is going to be for the fifth spot (in the standings).”

Lynnwood’s next game will be Friday night, Feb. 2 when they host the Everett Seagulls at Lynnwood High School. The game is Senior Night, when they will celebrate the high school careers of Rachel Walsh, Abby Douglas, Liz Jones, Valerie Bell, Vang Vo, Kau’I Pi’ilani, Kia Crawford and Venecia Lucio. That game will begin at 7:15 p.m.

Girls Basketball: Marysville-Getchell at Lynnwood, Jan. 31

Marysville-Getchell           8      8     14    15 —45
Lynnwood                      22    14     20    14 —70

Marysville-Getchell scoring: Abby Pfeil 16, Kortney Crane 15, Pilani Tupou 6, Sydney Norton 5, Mylanie Cabrera 3

Lynnwood scoring: Nakia Boston 18, Anayah Kirkman 17, Rachel Walsh 11, Abby Douglas 7, Liz Jones 6, Vang Vo 6, Emily Whybark 3, Kau’i Pi’ilani 2

Records: Marysville-Getchell 3-7 in 3A Wesco League, 4-14 overall; Lynnwood 6-4 in 3A Wesco League, 10-8 overall

Marysville-Getchell’s next game: versus Shorewood, Friday, Feb. 2, 7:15 p.m. at Marysville-Getchell High School.

Lynnwood’s next game: versus Everett Friday, Feb. 2, 7:15 p.m. at Lynnwood High School

–Story and photos by Scott Williams

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