Late free throws lift Mavs past Seagulls | Boys basketball

Meadowdale riding a 3-game winning streak heading into clash with Warriors
By David Pan | Jan 25, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale’s Colton Walsh drives to the basket while being guarded by Lynnwood’s Timmy Taing and Beneyam Mesele (right) during a Wesco 3A game Tuesday, Jan. 16, at Meadowdale HIgh School.

Meadowdale seems to be hitting its stride at the right time.

Senior Justin Chambers scored a team-high 19 points, including two free throws with about 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, to lead the Mavericks to their third straight victory – 57-56 over Everett – in a Wesco 3A boys basketball game Monday, Jan. 22, at Everett High School.

In his first game back after missing three due to a concussion, senior Dan Barhoum made one of two free throws to give Meadowdale a 55-54 lead with 19 seconds remaining. He grabbed the rebound on the missed free throw. Chambers subsequently was fouled and connected on his two free throws to extend the lead to 57-54 before the Seagulls scored the final basket of the night.

Barhoum finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Chambers dished out 4 assists and also had 4 steals. Will Schafer had 9 points. Meadowdale (5-3 in the league, 9-7 overall) is in fifth place in the league.

“It was our first game with all 12 varsity players healthy at the same time,” Meadowdale coach Roger O’Neill said.

Senior Mustapha Sonko missed about a month and a half due to a severe ankle sprain and when he returned to the court, Barhoum was sidelined as a result of a concussion suffered at practice.

“It wasn’t the cleanest game,” O’Neill said. “We had way too many turnovers. But we were able to grind out the win.”

Chambers also scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Mavericks to a 56-43 victory over Marysville-Getchell on Friday, Jan. 19 at Marysville-Getchell High School. Sophomore Colton Walsh added 12 points.

“He’s really gifted. He had some really special plays against Getchell,” O’Neill said of Walsh. “He’s a sophomore and he’s still learning … He’s really been important to us. He’s been starting almost every game.”

Senior center Okeoma Okoro didn’t score any points but made his presence known on the boards and defense. He collected 7 rebounds.

“He played terrific defense,” O’Neill said. “They didn’t score when he was in the game.”

Meadowdale also dispatched district rival Lynnwood 56-42 on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at Meadowdale High School. Haben Tekle scored 14 points and Walsh added 12 points. Nick Buckley had 10 points.

“It’s really all coming together at the right time,” O’Neill said.

The Mavericks didn’t play their best basketball against the Seagulls, but they excelled in the areas that they needed in order to come away with the victory.

“It wasn’t our best complete game,” O’Neill said. “Our strength has been about our defense and rebounding. That’s our formula. We’ve got to dominate people on the boards and go out and get good shots on offense.”

Meadowdale has limited its opponents to single digits in five quarters in its last three games.

“Those are winning quarters when you stifle someone for so long,” O’Neill said.

So even if their offense isn’t clicking, the Mavericks are able to stay in games because of their defense, the Meadowdale coach added.

“Regardless of our offense, the defense remains a constant,” he said.

The Mavericks take on district rival Edmonds-Woodway at 5:40 p.m., Friday, Jan. 26, at Meadowdale High School. In a non-conference clash in early December, the Warriors (4-5, 9-8), who are right behind the Mavericks in the standings, prevailed 76-65. Meadowdale has not beaten their arch rival in three years.

“Every time it’s the same thing. We’ve got to take care of the ball,” O’Neill said. “It’s a lot easier said than done. We’ve got to value the basketball and make sure we get good shots. We don’t want to be playing on our heels. We’ve got to be aggressive and attack. We have to match their energy.”

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