Saturday night the Lynnwood girls basketball team accomplished something that had never been done in school history. By outlasting Arlington 61-49, the Royals won the school's first-ever girls basketball district championship, winning the 4A District 1 tournament in their first year since moving up from 3A to 4A.
It was the first team district championship in any sport at Lynnwood since the track and field team in 1998.
"This is great for the players on our team," Lynnwood head coach Everett Edwards said. "It's great for our school spirit. It is a definite accomplishment that our kids will remember forever in terms of winning the district title."
The Royals had to be resilient. They fell behind early after the Eagles came out blisteringly hot from the 3-point line. Arlington made four of its first five 3s and seemingly within the blink of an eye the Eagles were up 14-7.
But the Royals never panicked. They closed the quarter on an 8-3 run and cut Arlington's lead to 17-15.
"We think we have a special group of girls right now that fought a helluva fight the way Arlington came out shooting the ball," Edwards said. "Not just in the first half, they shot it well in the third quarter too. They played really well, but our team just came together and played our usual team defense and had just enough offense to get by.
Arlington coach Joe Marsh said outside shooting wasn't necessarily part of the gameplan.
"Our gameplan wasn't to come in and knock down a bunch of 3s," Marsh said. "That really isn't what we were trying to do. But the shots went early and that helps you out. We did not do a good job of getting the ball inside against them tonight. They made shots and made all their free throws and we didn't."
The Eagles fast start from behind the arc gave Edwards no choice but to switch from zone to man-to-man defense. The change didn't make the Eagles start missing, but it did allow less shots. The Eagles were 4-for-9 from behind the arc in the first quarter and 7-for-14 the rest of the way.
"They do a great job of switching defenses all the time," Marsh said. "It's a great team and defensively they do a lot of things to make you think. We knew they were going to mix it up. I tell the girls all the time, 'whatever they have, we have something for.' I think what happened with us is that we got a little bit tentative offensively."
Even though Arlington led for most of the first half, Lynnwood came back to take a 28-27 lead at halftime. The Eagles briefly retook the lead at the beginning of the third quarter, but Arsenia Ivanov's 3-pointer early in the third quarter gave the Royals a 35-33 lead and Lynnwood never trailed again.
"We just wanted to try and wear them down," Edwards said. "And they kind of forced us to go man-to-man a lot earlier than we wanted to, but at the end of the day I felt that we had a deep team and that we can try to wear them down and they wouldn't make those 3-point shots in the fourth quarter."
It wasn't necessarily that Arlington stopped making its 3s as much as the Royals making theirs late in the game.
With Lynnwood up 47-43, Jordyn Edwards put the Eagles away by hitting a three on three straight possessions to turn a four-point lead into a 56-43 advantage. She finished with a game-high 19 points.
And she is just a freshman.
"It's absolutely a dream," Edwards said. "With the team we have, it's amazing."
Edwards got a little help from her older sister, junior Jasmin Edwards, who scored nine of her 16 points in the second half to help lead the way.
"We are going to go home and be happy together," Jasmin Edwards said. "It was good. She hit some very key shots that we needed. It was just a really great thing for her to pull through and the same here for me."
On a night where the Edwards sisters stole the show, there was another person who couldn't help but contain his excitement – coach Edwards.
With good reason, Jasmin and Jordyn are not just two of his players, they are also his daughters.
"It couldn't have turned out any better," he said. "I'm very proud of my daughters and I'm very proud of our team. It's been a heck of a battle in preparation. It's been kind of a long time coming for us, in terms of the things that we have done to try to give them the skills to become good basketball players. To have it come through tonight in such a great game, an exciting game to watch and everything. I couldn't ask for anything more right now."
Aaron Lommers coves prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Arlington 17 10 12 10 -- 49
Lynnwood 15 13 17 16 -- 61
Lynnwood--Jasmin Edwards 16, Izzy Maza 0, Grace Douglas 5, Mikayla Pivec 11, Nicole Trautman 0, Arsenia Ivanov 5, Jordyn Edwards 19, Danielle Hayes 5, Linda Wilson 0. Arlington--Taylor Graham 6, Lindsay Brown 11, Krista Showalter 9, Jessica Ludwig 9, Winter Brown 9, Jayla Russ 5, Lyndsay Leatherman 0. 3-point goals--Showalter 2, Ludwig 2, W. Brown 3, Russ 1, Graham 2, L. Brown 1, Douglas 1, Jor. Edwards 4, Hayes 1, Ivanov 1. Records--Lynnwood 22-1 overall. Arlington 19-4.
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