The Warriors fell to the Jackson Timberwolves 53-50 on Friday night in probably the most well-played basketball game I have seen this season. Both teams were certainly on their game Friday night and it made for an exciting game throughout that ended with Devin Joseph missing a 3-pointer from beyond half court as time expired that would have sent the game to overtime.
What did I learn from the game?
The game only reinforced my faith in the Warriors to be a team that can make some noise at the district tournament and maybe sneak into the state regional round. They are improving offensively and becoming more balanced. Joseph can score and facilitates his teammates well. Jason Smarr continues to be the Warriors top scoring threat, but he is getting more help from his teammates. With Travis Bakken, Henry Olson and Joseph all playing well and players like Brad Rice, and Alex Hull able to add timely baskets the Warriors are getting harder and harder to stop each game.
The problem for Edmonds-Woodway is that so far that can't figure out how to close games. They have been in tight battles with Jackson twice and nearly knocked off Issaquah early in the season. All games that would have been signature wins for the Warriors.
I still think the Warriors have the best shot to be the third team to come out of the district tournament and face the third place team from Kingco for a shot at regionals. Friday's game showed me that the Warriors are closer to breaking through against one of these great teams. They didn't make mistakes at the end of the game the way they had in some of their other close losses, they simply got outplayed in the game's final minutes by a very good team.
It looks like Jackson and Arlington are on a collision course for the 4A District 1 championship game, but if one team could break up that potential match up and sneak into that game I think Edmonds-Woodway has a shot.
As far as Jackson, they just continue to do what they do best -- win.
When his teammates were struggling to score on Friday, Jason Todd took over the game. The junior scored 29 of his team's 53 points and provided just enough offense for the Timberwolves to sneak out with a win.
The difference between these two teams is that Edmonds-Woodway is a team learning how to win, Jackson on the other hand doesn't seem to know how to lose.
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