Meadowdale finishing strong | Boys basketball
Meadowdale is finding out that it’s not how you start that is important. It’s how you finish.
The Mavericks struggled at the start of the season, winning only 2 of 10 games in December.
But Meadowdale kept plugging away at practice and the Mavericks’ persistence is yielding results with key Wesco 3A victories over Lynnwood, Marysville-Getchell and a crucial 55-52 win over Marysville-Pilchuck.
Senior Drew Tingstad passed the ball to junior Justin Chambers, who connected on the game-winning shot against the Tomahawks Jan. 31 at Meadowdale High School.
“It was an awesome game, back and forth in the first half,” Meadowdale coach Roger O’Neill said.
The Mavericks, however, fell behind by 11 points early in the third quarter. O’Neill called a timeout to regroup. Meadowdale responded with tough defense and baskets and by the end of the period the Mavericks cut the deficit to 40-38.
“It then was back and forth throughout the fourth quarter,” O’Neill said. “Our largest lead was the final score.”
Tingstad finished with a season-high 19 points and 9 rebounds. Junior Daniel Barhoum added 10 points and 13 rebounds and Drew Harvey contributed 9 points. Chambers had 7 points.
“He (Chambers) has really been a consistent spark off the bench,” O’Neill said.
Meadowdale followed with another strong performance against league champion Stanwood in a game few thought the Mavericks would have much of a chance to win.
On Senior Night, the Mavericks gave the Spartans all their could handle and were down by only 5 points with four minutes left in the contest before Stanwood pulled away for a 64-48 victory Feb. 3 at Meadowdale High School.
“I was pleased. That’s the closest anyone has played Stanwood in league,” O’Neill said. “I felt we were right there. A couple of costly turnovers and the lead stretches.”
Barhoum scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Xavier Meekins added 13 points and Mustapha Sonko had 12 points.
O’Neill had an all-senior lineup at the start of the game, including Zach Plummer and Kingston Bactad, two players who don’t see a lot of action.
“They did an awesome job of coming out and stepping in,” O’Neill said. “It was good to see them out there and having success on the court.”
Meadowdale’s defense has improved significantly since the start of the season. The 64 points by Stanwood was the fewest scored in any of its league games this year.
“That was big,” O’Neill said. “We’ve been consistently outrebounding people since Christmas. That has to continue. It’s been a nice style of team basketball.
“Everyone was up for the challenge of playing Stanwood. No one thought we had much of a chance. We went out there and played our game. It turns out we can go out and play with anybody in the league.”
Meadowdale hosts Snohomish in a district play-in contest at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.