Meadowdale comes up short in district opener | Boys basketball

By David Pan | Feb 15, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale’s Justin Chambers shoots the ball against Lynnwood.

After losing to Marysville-Pilchuck by 39 points less than two weeks ago, Meadowdale coach Roger O’Neill knew that the Mavericks had to adopt a different approach for its 3A District boys basketball tournament opener.

The new game plan implemented a day and a half earlier called for the Mavericks to shorten the contest by using almost all 35 seconds of the shot clock in an effort to limit Marysville-Pilchuck’s transition game.

Meadowdale executed the game plan well and stayed with the Tomahawks for all four quarters before eventually losing 52-44 Saturday, Feb. 10, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

“We put in a game plan, things that we hadn’t done all year. We had a day and a half to get it done,” O’Neill said. “Our guys completely bought in and they came out and executed it, not to perfection. Nothing is going to be perfect in 36 hours, but they did it pretty darn well.”

The Mavericks (11-11) led 12-10 at the end of the first quarter and went into halftime trailing 22-19. The Tomahawks led 35-29 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Mavericks cut the deficit to 44-39 on a basket by sophomore Colton Walsh with 2:42 remaining in the game and then missed a 3-pointer that would have made it a one possession game. Marysville-Pilchuck’s Luke Dobler then responded with a 3-pointer of his own.

Meadowdale made one final push when Walsh hit a 3-pointer to cut the Marysville-Pilchuck lead to 47-44 with 41.4 seconds left in the game. The Tomahawks (17-4) closed out the game with five free throws, while the Mavericks were held without a basket.

“They’re a really talented team and they’re super lethal in transition,” O’Neill said. “When the game goes up and down, they’re hard to stop as we saw first hand a couple weeks ago.”

O’Neill praised not only his team’s execution of working the shot clock but also getting good shots at the end of the shot clock. Senior Justin Chambers scored a game-high 23 points.

“You need guys to go make plays,” O’Neill said. “(Chambers) was featured a lot in some of our stuff. A lot of that was just him seeing the floor and going and making the right reads. Justin is a tremendous competitor. He went out there and played his heart out tonight.”

Meadowdale was scheduled to face Ferndale in a loser-out district game on Wednesday, Feb. 14, after the Beacon’s deadline.

The Mavericks advanced to the district tournament after defeating district rival Lynnwood 59-53 in a district play-in game Thursday, Feb. 8, at Meadowdale High School.

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