Already with three Wesco League victories this season, the Lynnwood Royals girls basketball team stepped out of league play on Wednesday for a tilt against the Ballard Beavers and came away with their first non-conference win of the year.
The Royals shot their way to a comfortable 63-45 victory over the Beavers in a game played at Lynnwood High School.
Lynnwood never trailed in the contest, jumping out to an 8-0 lead in the first three minutes, then added a 12-2 run to start the second half to leave no doubt who would be victorious.
Aniya Hooker led all scorers with 23 points for the Royals; Kayla Lorenz and Teyah Clark contributed 13 and 11 points respectively in the win. All three juniors, along with teammate and fellow junior Mataya Canda, sank 3-pointers in a game that became a showcase of Lynnwood long-range shooting.
Nevaeh Harman paced the Beavers with 16 points while Clara Haynes added 10 for the visitors.
Royals’ Coach Eddie Mcferrin, now in his third season at Lynnwood, had hoped Hooker would be the catalyst for the team’s contest with the Beavers.
“We know nobody can really match up with her one-on-one so when we see those opportunities, we ask her to attack. And she does pretty well,” Mcferrin explained. “But she does so many things away from the ball. I think she had four or five rebounds tonight; she had a couple steals. She’s a pretty good all-around player.”
Lynnwood has one more non-league contest — a road game at Kamiak on Friday, Dec. 30 — before a second half of the season that will be exclusive 3A Wesco League matchups starting in January. And while the league is full of strong teams, Mcferrin is feeling pretty good about how his squad is growing in skill and confidence.
“We’re learning and we’re buying into it,” Mcferrin said. “The biggest thing about buying into it is that we’re going to get better every game. So one game at a time and hopefully we can make a nice run.”
Can the Royals compete against the teams expected to be Wesco League top contenders? Teams like Arlington, Stanwood and Snohomish? Mcferrin thinks so.
“The sky’s the limit,” he said. “We have a great opportunity.”
Prep Girls Basketball: Ballard at Lynnwood, Dec. 28
Ballard 10 11 10 14 – 45
Lynnwood 15 16 16 16 – 63
Lynnwood individual scorers: Aniya Hooker 23, Kayla Lorenz 13, Teyah Clark 11, McKenzie Ruse-Martin 4, Nyree Johnson 3, Mataya Canda 3, Dina Yonas 2, Eve Pereira 2, Ena Dodik 2, Shifa Hanchinamani
Ballard individual scorers: Nevaeh Harman 16, Clara Haynes 10, Diyanka Laemmle 6, Mahlia Muwero 5, Lidet Becker 5, Shea Deskins 2, Vivian Nabou 1,Makenna Meyer, Laura Grande, Brynn Cziesla
Records: Lynnwood 3-1 in 3A Wesco League, 4-3 overall; Ballard 0-5 in 3A Metro League, 1-7 overall
Lynnwood next game: versus Kamiak; Friday, Dec. 30; 1 p.m. at Kamiak High School
Ballard next game: versus Edmonds-Woodway; Thursday, Dec. 29; 3:30 p.m. at Ballard High School
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski