Edmonds-Woodway struggles early on against West Seattle, ousted at districts | Girls basketball
No one expected Edmonds-Woodway to be playing in the 3A state regional girls basketball tournament.
Certainly not after losing senior Missy Peterson, one of the top players in the league, in mid-January to a foot injury.
Not with a lineup that often featured not one, not two, not three, but four freshmen.
But the Warriors proved all the doubters wrong by winning two of three district tournament games to advance to the state regional tourney.
Edmonds-Woodway’s postseason ride ended with a 63-41 loss to West Seattle in a loser-out contest Saturday, Feb. 25, at Bellevue College.
The Warriors struggled early with Wildcats’ speed and fell behind 20-4 after the first quarter.
“We couldn’t hit some shots early,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Jon Rasmussen said. “It was tough. We dug a hole and that hole was almost impossible to get out of. But you saw the future looks kind of bright for us.”
Four freshmen and senior cut a 31-11 halftime deficit to 42-31 with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter. West Seattle took a 44-31 lead into the final period and extended its advantage.
“We cut it to 11 and had multiple times to get it to single digits, but we just ran out of gas,” Rasmussen said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team and everyone.”
Freshman Bailee Chynoweth scored a team-high 12 points for the Warriors, who finished 16-8 overall. Junior Ingrid Fosberg contributed 8 points.
West Seattle (20-4) was led by sophomore Jasmine Gayles, who scored 17 points, and sophomore Kelsey Linzie, who had 10 points.
Rasmussen was a little surprised by West Seattle’s athleticism.
“They’re good. I think what took us out of the game to be honest was their physicality,” he said. “We weren’t ready for that part of it and I probably didn’t see that on the tape good enough to let the team know. Once we figured out the speed of the game and fought back a little bit, it went a lot better in the third (quarter). ”
The Warriors’ shooting woes in the first quarter didn’t help matters either. Edmonds-Woodway had opportunities to put points on the board and misses led to more misses.
“We missed a couple of short shots and if you’re going to beat a team like that, you’ve got to hit that early and get some confidence,” Rasmussen said. “We couldn’t get a basket in that first half. We had a couple of lay-ins that we missed and they’re good. They got up and down. They beat us up and down.”
Edmonds-Woodway’s defense produced some turnovers in the third quarter that sparked the rally.
“It was our defense that got us back into it,” Rasmussen said. “That little press, we’ve been doing that late in the season.
“We made a good run. It was fun for sure.”
The Warriors’ postseason prospects seemed uncertain when Peterson was sidelined in mid-January, but Edmonds-Woodway won five out of its last six regular season games. A successful district tournament followed.
“Once Missy went down, no one thought we could do what we did,” Rasmussen said. “I give credit to the girls. They never quit. They work their tails off every day in practice. Good things happen when you work hard and that’s what happened.”