Prep girls basketball: Royals edge Mavs in OT thriller for District playoff win

Lynnwood’s Nyree Johnson eyes a 3 from the corner. (Photos by Scott Williams)
The Mavs’ Jordan Leith (4) with the running one-hander in the key.
The Royals’ Teyah Clark drives to the hoop.
Meadowdale’s Gia Powell drives baseline for the score.
Aniya Hooker scores two of her game-high 28 for Lynnwood.
The Mavs’ Audrey Lucas finishes after a steal.
The Royals’ Kayla Lorenz (2) launches a jumper over Meadowdale’s Ava Powell.
Natalie Durbin shoots from the baseline corner for Meadowdale.
The Royals’ Dina Yonas goes strong down the lane.
The Mavs’ Ava Powell scores in overtime.

The Lynnwood Royals girls basketball team has lost six of its last seven games against Edmonds School District rival the Meadowdale Mavericks over the past five seasons. On Friday, the Royals trailed by nine points with 5:03 remaining in the third quarter and were in danger of yet another defeat to the Mavs. 

Royals’ junior Aniya Hooker wasn’t going to let that happen.

Hooker exploded for nine points in those final five minutes of the quarter, including a long three-pointer just seconds before the quarter-ending buzzer. Hooker’s play led Lynnwood to a 68-66 overtime victory over Meadowdale in a District 1 3A Girls Basketball Tournament game played at Lynnwood High School.

Hooker’s individual third-quarter performance was fueled in part by the hyper environment at Royals’ Court for the tournament contest. “I loved the crowd, I loved the energy it brings,” she said.

Hooker totaled 28 points in the game to lead all scorers. The junior also grabbed 11 rebounds in the contest.

Lynnwood’s big 12-1 third-quarter run led to an epic fourth-quarter battle. The Royals pulled out to a 52-47 advantage with 2:37 to go in the game, but the Mavericks wouldn’t give up. Meadowdale’s Gia Powell sunk a trio of 3-pointers down the stretch — the last one with 1.8 seconds to go in the game — to knot the score at 59-59 and send the game into overtime.

After Hooker’s bucket with 42 seconds to go in the OT gave the Royals a 67-65 lead, each team picked up a single point off free throws by Powell and Kayla Lorenz of Lynnwood. Trailing by two, the Mavs had one final possession in the waning seconds, but a long 3-point attempt by Powell came up short and the Royals claimed the victory.

Hooker liked the way her squad responded after trailing 37-28 in the third quarter.

“We were a little slow, shots weren’t going in,” she said, “but I think we really brought it up as a team. We really locked in and it paid off in the long run. We got the foul (calls) and we got the shots to drop in.”

“We really finished it out, this game, really well,” Hooker added.

The Royals’ Kayla Lorenz contributed 16 points in the Lynnwood win; teammate Teyah Clark scored 15 points.

The Mavericks were led by the 21 points of Powell, 12 of which were tallied in the fourth quarter and overtime. Jordan Leith added 15 points while Ava Powell scored 12 points.

While the loss was disappointing for no.5-seeded Meadowdale, it didn’t eliminate them from district tournament play. But Meadowdale will be faced with playing loser-out games the rest of the way, starting with a Tuesday, Feb. 14, encounter with the no.9-seed Monroe Bearcats. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Meadowdale High School.

“We know the season’s not over and we can just keep going,” Leith said. “We’re not in the position we wanted to be but we’re still in a good position to get where we want to go. I feel like there’s still hope in the locker room.”

Leith, a senior who will be playing at Whitman College in Walla Walla next year, expressed gratitude that the Mavericks’ season continues despite the loss on Friday. “It’s just fun to play with all those girls because they’re all so talented,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who’s on the court, you have faith in them, you trust them to do what’s right.”

With Friday’s win, no.3-seed Lynnwood will move into a District 1 tournament semifinal game on Tuesday, Feb. 14, and face the tourney’s top-seeded team, the Arlington Eagles. The Royals-Eagles matchup will be the second game of a doubleheader at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, with tipoff set for approximately 7 p.m.

The top five teams in the District 1 3A Girls Basketball Tournament will advance to the regional round of the WIAA State 3A Girls Basketball Championships later this month. To view the District 1 tourney bracket, click

Prep Girls Basketball: Meadowdale at Lynnwood, Feb. 10 (District 1 3A Girls Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game)

Meadowdale 11 17 10 21 7 66

Lynnwood 14   9 17 19 9 68

Meadowdale individual scoring: Gia Powell 21, Jordan Leith 15, Ava Powell 12, Audrey Lucas 9, Natalie Durbin 6, Payton Fleishman 3, Kaiya Dotter, Samantha Medina, Mia Brockmeyer

Lynnwood individual scoring: Aniya Hooker 28, Kayla Lorenz 16, Teyah Clark 15, Nyree Johnson 7, Ena Dodik 2, Mataya Canda, Eve Pereira, Dina Yonas

Records: Meadowdlae 16-6 overall, 1-1 in District 1 3A tournament play; Lynnwood 15-5 overall, 1-0 in District 1 3A tournament play

Meadowdale next game: versus Monroe; Tuesday, Feb. 14; 7 p.m. at Meadowdale High School (District 1 3A Girls Basketball Tournament loser-out game)

Lynnwood next game: versus Arlington; Tuesday, Feb. 14; 7 p.m. at Marysville-Pilchuck High School (District 1 3A Girls Basketball Tournament semifinal game)

— By Doug Petrowski

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