Mavericks’ late rally comes up just a basket short | Girls basketball

Meadowdale picks up defensive pressure, slices 13-point deficit to two points
By David Pan | Dec 27, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale’s Fatoumata Jaiteh looks to shoot over Marysville-Getchell’s Mikail Montez during a Wesco 3A game Friday, Dec. 21, at Meadowdale High School.

A fast and furious comeback by Meadowdale came up just short.

Marysville-Getchell saw a seemingly comfortable 13-point lead midway through the fourth quarter turn into a single basket in the final seconds, as the Chargers hung on for a 52-50 victory in a Wesco 3A girls basketball game Friday, Dec. 21, at Meadowdale High School.

The Mavericks (0-3 in the league 2-4 overall) trailed 34-29 at the end of the third quarter. Marysville-Getchell (2-2, 6-2) went on a 12-4 to start the fourth quarter to take a 46-33 lead.

Meadowdale then started to pick up the intensity on defense.

“We started to play full-court man,” Meadowdale coach Arie Mahler said. “They picked it up. They embraced it and went after it.”

A 9-0 run was capped by a 3-pointer by junior guard Lilly Williams that cut the deficit to 46-42 with about two minutes left in the game

Marysville-Getchell, however, then responded with six straight points to extend its lead to 52-42 with 46.5 seconds to go. The Mavericks still didn’t concede and forced another turnover late that led to a 3-pointer by Alicia Morrison that sliced the deficit to 52-48 with just seconds remaining. Morrison closed out the game with another basket at the buzzer.

“We were kind of struggling to defend that low post so I thought switching to man actually helped us even earlier in the game,” Mahler said. “I just wished we played with that tenacity the entire time.”

Senior center Mikail Montez led the Chargers with 17 points,

Meadowdale sophomore Fatoumata Jaiteh scored a team-high 17 points and Lilly Williams added 15 points.

Jaiteh and Williams are shaping up to be a potent offensive combination for the Mavericks.

“Her (Jaiteh’s) low post game has really come along this year,” Mahler said. “She’s even to the point where she can go out to midrange and even go 3-point. I think a real key is that two-man game with Jaiteh and Williams. They work really well together.”

Marysville-Getchell took a 15-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Mavericks outscored the Chargers 9-6 in the second quarter to head into halftime down 21-19.

Mahler said that Meadowdale was fortunate to be down only two points considering the team’s offensive woes in the first half.

“We struggled with any sort of continuity,” he said. “It was almost like our spacing was bad. The second half we went to more of a motion offense and they started moving, cutting and setting screens. The first half, we just really struggled.”

Meadowdale’s schedule during the holiday break includes games against Lake Washington (Wednesday, Dec. 26, at Meadowdale), Kamiak (Thursday, Dec. 27, at Kamiak) and Bishop Blanchet (Saturday, Dec. 29, at Meadowdale).

The Mavericks have work to do, Mahler said.

“We definitely have the athletes to compete and I think we have girls who have a good basketball IQ,” he said. “We’ve just got to start to put all the puzzle pieces together.”

Those puzzle pieces including cutting down on turnovers, which have been a problem all season long.

“It’s all in the details,” Mahler said. “That’s something we’ve been preaching to the girls … is focusing on the details and doing the little things correctly. It’s the communication piece, both on defense and offense, rebounding, boxing out – all the fundamental things.”

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