Mavericks come up short in holiday thriller | Girls basketball

Meadowdale can’t overcome a 17-0 first quarter deficit
By David Pan | Jan 04, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale’s Alicia Morrison reaches for the ball, while Kamiak’s Carolyn Brunner watches during a non-conference game Wednesday, Dec. 27, at Mountlake Terrace High School.

Never count Meadowdale out.

After missing shot after shot in a dismal first quarter, the Mavericks found themselves staring at a 17-0 deficit against Kamiak.

Instead of rolling over, Meadowdale chipped away at the deficit, eventually cutting it to 1 point with 1:41 left in the fourth quarter.

The Knights, however, responded with a couple of key baskets and made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 31.2 seconds to hold on for a 52-44 victory over Meadowdale in a non-conference girls basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 27, at the Mountlake Terrace High School Holiday Tournament.

Meadowdale (3-7) struggled with its offense in the first quarter.

“We couldn’t execute our plays offensively,” sophomore Lilly Williams said. “I think our shot selection could have been a little bit better, but nothing was falling that we did put up, which didn’t help us at all.”

Meadowdale coach Caitlyn Houvener said that her team’s offensive challenges were only part of the problem.

“It was almost like we were sleepwalking on defense,” she added. “It was just a bad quarter.”

The bench provided a spark for Meadowdale with junior guard Camryn Cassidy scoring a team-high 12 points. Williams finished with 11 points.

Meadowdale outscored Kamiak 15-9 in the second quarter and went into halftime down 26-15. The Mavericks continued to battle back and cut the deficit to 36-30 by the end of the third quarter.

“Several of our bench players, they were the ones that came in and really sparked by comeback,” Houvener said. “Camryn Cassidy had a great game off the bench. Cassidy Gamble came in and played solid. … A lot of our bench players stepped up big tonight and so I was proud of that.”

Williams made a 3-point shot at the end of the second quarter and then opened the third quarter with another 3-pointer. Sophomore Alicia Morrison followed with another 3-point shot and Kamiak’s 14-point lead late in the third quarter was sliced to 5 points a minute into the third period.

“We lost track of their shooters sometimes and when we lost track of them, they hit shots,” Kamiak coach Brian Norman said.

Williams said the Mavericks turned up their energy level after the lackluster first quarter.

“We realized that we did not want to get smacked, so we had to put in our effort and execute and just look to attack more and push the ball,” Williams said. “In the first half, we weren’t getting back on their fastbreaks well enough. In the second half, we realized that we needed to get back and stop them from getting the easy shots and make them take harder shots.”

A putback basket by Williams cut the Kamiak lead to 43-42 with 1:41 remaining in the game.

Kamiak’s Hunter Beirne and Alex Gallaher responded with back-to-back baskets and the Knights (4-5) sealed the victory by converting on 5 of 6 free throws

Meadowdale has no seniors on the roster and that lack of experience may have contributed to the loss, Houvener said.

“We’ve been in a lot of tight games where we just haven’t figured out how to get over and pull out the win yet,” she said. “Without having seniors, that falls on the juniors. I think they just need to get a little more belief and just go after it. Once we get one of those games, I think that’ll really help us out.

“But I’m proud of their effort and their comeback and just being in a game, making it a game, is all I could ask for.”

In the other tournament game, Meadowdale cruised to a 65-31 victory over Nathan Hale on Tuesday, Dec. 26. Williams scored 15 points and Gamble had 12.

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