The win secured a district playoff berth for the Warriors against the team that went 3-0 against Edmonds-Woodway last season and defeated them in the district tournament, ending the Warriors' season.
"It's been a few years since we came to Lake Stevens and won," E-W head coach Steve Call said. "And it was nice to get a win against the team that knocked us out of districts last year."
Edmonds-Woodway used strong defensive pressure to outscore the Vikings 18-7 in the first quarter at Lake Stevens High School. The Warriors led by as many as 15 points in the game, before the Vikings came roaring back in the third quarter and cut the deficit to four points.
But E-W, which was held without a field goal for a five-minute stretch in the third quarter, ended the quarter with a 6-0 run to build a 46-37 lead, and held off Lake Stevens in the final quarter.
"The last week or so we've really been focusing on defensive intensity," Call said. "Every loose ball, every rebound, all those 50-50 balls, we want to get after them."
Senior guard Devin Joseph was a big part of the early run for E-W. He scored six of his 11 points in the first quarter, and finished with six rebounds, six steals and five assists.
"I thought he dominated the game in terms of pace," Lake Stevens coach Mark Hein said of Joseph. "... He's tough. He's a good player and I felt he was the quarterback out there, controlling the tempo."
Call praised his defender as well, saying Joseph is "a great on-ball defender who anticipates well." Joseph's defensive presence helped lead to several fast-break points for Edmonds-Woodway.
"That's been our focus: defense creating offense," Call said. "We don't have any trouble scoring."
Lake Stevens, on the other hand, had some offensive troubles in the first quarter. The Vikings got things going, scoring 16 points in the second quarter to more than triple their score from the first. In fact, Lake Stevens outscored Edmonds-Woodway 42-41 in the final three quarters.
But that first-quarter deficit proved too big to overcome.
"Our team this year has had great starts throughout the year," Hein said. "This was an exception."
Hein said that after the slow start, Lake Stevens took better care of the ball and started making more shots. However, the Vikings were unable to get closer than four points in the third quarter, spending all their energy just trying to catch Edmonds-Woodway.
"We did things to hurt ourselves at key times," Hein said. "We missed a couple layups and had some ill-timed turnovers."
And the Warriors took advantage, once again separating themselves from Lake Stevens and starting the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run to all but put the game away.
"This is one we let slip away," Hein said. "Edmonds-Woodway is a good team. … They certainly played better than us. But it was a winnable game."
Travis Bakken led E-W with 12 points and seven rebounds. Theo Lebesis had 10 points and four other Warriors scored six points apiece – Alex Hull, Brad Rice, Jason Smarr and Luke Langdale – to lead a very balanced scoring effort as E-W wrapped up its 4A crossover games with the Wesco North conference.
Call said that there was one big takeaway for the Warriors from its crossover games: a winning record on the road.
"We can win on the road," Call said. "That's our goal. To be a good team you have to do that. We had (road) games against Mount Vernon, Lake Stevens and Arlington. We had to play three tough North teams on the road. Going 2-1 in those games was our goal."
Lake Stevens was led by Moussa Sanoh and Ryan Lian, who had 10 points apiece. Sanoh added eight rebounds and four blocks.
Lake Stevens is fighting with Snohomish and Monroe to get back into the district tournament race. Hein said the Vikings are eager to get back there and see what happens.
"We've got to bounce back, which we will," Hein said, "and focus on getting into the playoffs and doing some damage once we get there."
At Edmonds-Woodway H.S.
Lake Stevens 18 16 12 13 -- 59
Edmonds-Woodway 7 16 14 12 -- 0
Edmonds-Woodway–Devin Joseph 11, Alex Hull 6, Brad Rice 6, Luke Langdale 6, Tate Budnick 2, Theo Lebesis 10, Jason Smarr 6, Travis Bakken 12. Lake Stevens–Dakota Tomson 0, Frazer Carpenter 0, Devin Stoen 9, Jared Rahn 6, Joe Hendrickson 0, Ryan Lian 10, Moussa Sanoh 10, CJ Lat 2, Brice Dodge 9, Tory Rothgeb 0, Neil Blaine 3. 3-point goals–Stoen 1, Lian 2, Dodge 3, Blaine 1. Records–Edmonds-Woodway 7-3 league, 9-6 overall. Lake Stevens 4-6, 6-10.
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