On the road against a roused Snohomish squad, Lynnwood saw the home team close the opening period with a 12-3 scoring burst, with another basket to start the second quarter pushing the Panther lead to 21-11.
Double-digit deficits are no doubt a new thing for the Royals, who had lost just once in their first 13 games this season.
But even trailing by 10 points, Lynnwood never flinched. Turning up their defensive pressure, which in turn sparked their offense, the Royals shut out Snohomish the rest of the second quarter to take a three-point halftime lead, and in the second half Lynnwood kept pulling away for an emphatic 63-45 Wesco 4A crossover victory.
The win lifts the Royals to a 13-1 record and an 8-1 league mark. Coupled with Jackson's 70-40 loss at Arlington, Lynnwood moves into sole possession of first place in the Wesco 4A South.
Royals coach Everett Edwards credited his counterpart, Snohomish's Ken Roberts, "for having his kids ready to play to start the game. (The Panthers) executed their offense and they hit a lot of shots. So in the second quarter, we talked about our defense and having to pick it up.
"I think our speed kind of beat their height a little bit in terms of our pressure," Edwards added, "and I think we got them a little bit discombobulated where they couldn't get going after the start of the second quarter."
"We came out good early," Roberts said, "but they changed presses in the second quarter and we didn't handle it well at first. I thought we got real tentative."
Lynnwood's defensive pressure often causes opponents fits, and it surely did against the Panthers. Sometimes pressing full-court, sometimes trapping at half-court, the Royals make it difficult for other teams to advance the ball.
"When we cause turnovers and score in transition, I think it builds our confidence," Edwards said. "Our offense feeds off of our defense, and tonight was a game where we were able to cause a few turnovers."
Against the Panthers, "I'm very happy with the overall team effort on defense," he said.
As usual, Lynnwood spread its scoring among several players, with three Royals finishing in double figures. Leading the way was senior wing Arsenia Ivanov, who had 14 points despite going scoreless for the first 21/2 quarters. She had eight points in the final four minutes of the third period, and then tacked on two 3-pointers in the fourth as Lynnwood surged to a 59-33 lead with four minutes to play, a 26-point margin that was its biggest of the night.
Snohomish's subs outscored Lynnwood's bench in the late minutes to trim the final difference to 18 points.
The Panthers were led by sophomore guard Ellie Otteson, who topped all scorers with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. She had 12 of Snohomish's 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Snohomish was hurt by the absence of junior forward Callie Harwood, one of the team's top players, who missed the game with the flu.
"You'd like your team to be able to compete no matter who you have," Roberts said, "but we weren't able to do that tonight. Obviously (being without Harwood) was a factor but it was more of the fact that Lynnwood played well and we struggled for a couple of quarters."
At Snohomish H.S.
Lynnwood 11 13 22 17 -- 63
Snohomish 19 2 7 17 -- 45
Lynnwood--Jasmin Edwards 9, Izzy Maza 0, Grace Douglas 12, Mikayla Pivec 8, Nikki Trautman 0, Arsenia Ivanov 14, Jordyn Edwards 10, Danielle Hayes 1, Linda Wilson 7, Amina Donohoe 2. Snohomish--Morgan Green 0, Ellie Otteson 22, Hannah Berntson 4, Shaylee Harwood 4, Kayla Lachapelle 11, Madeline Smith 4, Paige Helms 0, Bailey Armbruster 0, Tara Harms 0. 3-point goals--Otteson 4, Lachapelle 2, Douglas 2, Ivanov 3, Edwards 1. Records--Lynnwood 8-1 league, 13-1 overall. Snohomish 5-4, 10-5.
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