Senior Sam Boone has replaced the graduated Hawkinson in Shorewood's lineup this season, and it looks as though the Thunderbirds haven't missed a beat.
Boone scored 16 points and played shutdown defense on Meadowdale's Jacob Perkins to help lead the Thunderbirds to a 53-43 victory over the Mavericks on Tuesday in a boys basketball game.
The Thunderbirds stayed unbeaten in the Wesco 3A South at 2-0 and improve to 5-0 overall. After winning its first four nonconference games, the Mavericks have dropped two straight to open up their league schedule.
"We knew this was going to be a tough game," Shorewood head coach Kevin Faw said. "Coming into it they really put the pressure on. I thought we handled it well, took care of the ball and didn't turn it over. This was just plain fundamental basketball."
Offensively, Boone was about as consistent as a player can get, scoring four points in each quarter of the game. On the other side of the ball he allowed Perkins just six points and forced him into a subpar shooting effort.
"He came out ready to play tonight and that was obvious," Faw said of the 6'8" Boone. "We knew we were going to have to lock down and keep (Perkins) away from the basket. He came ready to play both offensively and defensively and he did the job we expected him to do tonight.
Without Perkins establishing an inside game, Meadowdale struggled to score throughout the game.
"He was a major factor," Meadowdale head coach Andy Streit said of Boone. "He really did give Jacob a tough game on both ends, so give him credit."
Both teams shot the ball poorly in the early going, but it was something Meadowdale seemed to never shake. It was the second consecutive game the Mavericks didn't shoot the ball well. They shot 25 percent (13-for-52) in last Friday's loss to Mountlake Terrace.
"It doesn't matter our record or where we end up if we don't learn the more lasting lessons of how to respond when things don't go your way," Streit said. "We talked about how 10 percent of life is what happens to you and the other 90 percent is how you respond. I'm more disappointed how we responded than anything on the floor. We could have played better, but that's what I want the guys to take from this."
The Thunderbirds never put the game out of reach, but their 20-point second quarter gave them a cushion that they were able to ride for most of the second half. The second-quarter explosion helped Shorewood turn a one-point deficit after the first quarter into a seven-point halftime lead.
Jordan Muir Keung tied the game at 14 early in the second quarter and Taylor Freeman's driving layup moments later gave the Thunderbirds a lead that they wouldn't relinquish the rest of the game.
Freeman scored 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter.
"He's been a guy that if we need a score, he can do that for us all season long," Faw said. "Tonight was probably a lower-scoring game for him, but we have that team mentality to where we have to win games as a team. We really stress that team mentality and different guys seem to step up every night and that's what we love to see."
Malik Braxton was the only Meadowdale player to finish in double figures, scoring 12.
The season is long, but Shorewood is certainly happy with a 2-0 start in a very tough league. The five teams in the league combined to win their first 13 games of the season before any of them suffered a defeat.
"This league, you can come out and win or lose every night," Faw said. "Any team, if you don't take them seriously, they can come out and beat you. That's really tough and it gets more mentally tough as the season goes along. Every night we stress that mental toughness and being ready for each team. We can't look over any team."
While the Thunderbirds are enjoying a fast start to their league schedule, the Mavericks are trying to regroup following two league losses after what looked to be a promising start to their season.
"We turn the page and we take the lessons we need to learn from this to get better because we have another good ballclub coming into our place on Friday night in Glacier Peak. We would love to be off to a better start, but this is where we're at as a team. We've shown potential and glimpses, but to get to be a good ball club we're going to have to show character and consistency."
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Shorewood H.S.
Meadowdale 11 12 10 10 -- 43
Shorewood 10 20 11 12 -- 53
Meadowdale--Kenley Ackerman 0, Landon Hopkins 0, Charlie White 2, Malik Braxton 12, Barrett Carlow 8, Jacob Perkins 6, Collin Costello 0, Chikodi Ezeokeke 0, Aaron Gurley 7, Aidan O'Neill 6, Caleb Tingstad 2. Shorewood--Anxhelos Pere 4, Taylor Freeman 12, Brandon Mar 10, Jordan Muir-Keung 10, Karson Gronvold 0, Zane Hopen 1, Cameran Testerman 0, Sam Boone 16. 3-point goals--Carlow 2. Records--Meadowdale 0-2 league, 4-2 overall. Shorewood--2-0, 5-0.
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