The Lynnwood senior scored 14 points and grabbed five steals and Mikayla Pivec added 28 points and 17 rebounds as the Royals defeated Bellarmine Prep 75-33 in a 4A state regional game Saturday afternoon at Everett Community College.
With the victory, Lynnwood secures a spot in next week's state tournament at the Tacoma Dome. Edwards will spend her birthday today waiting for a draw by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association to find out who the Royals will play in the state quarterfinals.
"This year was something that we just really fought, starting from this summer, and we did have this date circled," said Lynnwood head coach Everett Edwards. "We wanted to definitely get a chance to go down to Tacoma and I am just very excited to have an opportunity to compete for a state championship."
The Royals have been to regionals two of the past three seasons, most recently suffering a one-point loss to Kentwood last season. Saturday, the Royals made sure the game was never really in doubt. Lynnwood started the game with a 17-2 run and, after Bellarmine Prep opened the second quarter with a 5-0 run, the Royals scored 17 straight points to build a 47-19 halftime lead.
By the fourth quarter, Lynnwood had its largest lead of the game with a 42-point advantage, invoking a running clock by WIAA rule.
"It feels awesome," Jasmin Edwards said. "Coming up so short these last three years, finally getting to go (to Tacoma) is a great feeling."
Pivec was a force for Lynnwood, officially tallying a double-double in the first half. The sophomore, who averages 15 rebounds a game, also had five assists and two blocked shots.
"She's an amazing athlete," Jasmin Edwards said. "She's the most competitive, relentless person I've ever played with. She was after the boards. It's great to have her on my team."
Grace Douglas added 12 points — all on 3-pointers — for Lynnwood (23-1), which got its first state win in Everett Edwards' seven years as coach.
"It's all about playing in this game," Coach Edwards said. "We had to play good in this game. We are ready and hopefully it is our year. You've got to play the game, but just having an opportunity to represent, not only Lynnwood High School and the Edmonds School District, but our Wesco league. We play some good basketball in Snohomish County and we hope to be able to represent our league when we head down to the Dome."
Bellarmine Prep (17-5) was led by Jasmine Holmes (12 points) and Claire Martin, the 6-foot-4 post who scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Royals combated Bellarmine Prep's height with quickness. The Lions struggled with Lynnwood's aggressive full-court pressure defense. On inbounds plays, Bellarmine Prep often threw the basketball to Lynnwood players and sometimes just out of bounds.
"We watched them play and we knew coming in we were going to have to pressure them and tire them out," Jasmin Edwards said. "I think that's what we did. Our pressure kind of got to them and we were able to get momentum and score."
The win marks the first time in Edwards' four-year varsity career that she'll play in Tacoma. The senior is incredibly motivated to help the Royals to a strong finish this season. She's also motivated by tough losses the last couple seasons.
"Last year the state championship would've been on my birthday," Edwards said. "That motivated me even more."
Everett Edwards, who has another daughter Jordyn on the team, said the whole Lynnwood basketball team is like a family — one that's excited to spend even more time together as it gets to continue its season for another week.
"As a coach, and as a father, I couldn't ask for anything more than to represent our Wesco league down in Tacoma," Edwards said. "We look forward to practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and getting a chance to go down to beautiful T-town — Tacoma. We're very excited about it. I couldn't be more proud of our team. We really came together and gelled together and have played good basketball all season."
Added the younger Edwards: "Our team is so close. We're just like a family. We're all dedicated and work hard and just love playing with each other. I know as long as we keep playing our game we can pull through and win."
At Everett Community College
Bellarmine Prep 10 9 10 4 -- 33
Lynnwood 23 24 13 15 -- 75
Bellarmine Prep--Kelsey McElroy 3, Jasmine Holmes 12, Shelby Gavigan 2, McKenzie Schwan 0, Megan Jacobsen 0, Rashanae Petty 2, Maddy Graves 0, Daizanique Anderson 0, Claire Martin 10, Emi Klein 0, Jayana Ervin 4. Lynnwood--Madison Eyer 0, Jasmin Edwards 14, Monty Cooper 8, Grace Douglas 12, Mikayla Pivec 28, Sarah Grant 0, Kelsey Rogers 5, Chelsea Tuiasosopo-Campbell 0, Hannah Valavala 2, Jordyn Edwards 4, Amina Donahue 0, Dani Hayes 2. 3-point goals--Jasmin Edwards 2, Douglas 4, McElroy, Martin. Records--Bellarmine Prep 17-5. Lynnwood 23-1
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