By David Krueger Herald Writer
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — With its season on the line, the Edmonds-Woodway girls basketball team looked to its youngest member.
Missy Peterson, the Warriors’ lone freshman, made a basket with 23 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, tying the score at 50 and forcing overtime. Edmonds-Woodway continued its late surge in the extra period, defeating Monroe 57-52 in the 4A District 1 third-place game Thursday night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
The victory gives Edmonds-Woodway a home game against Eastlake in a winner-to-state contest Saturday night.
“I was pretty nervous, but of course I wanted the ball,” Peterson said. “My whole team, when it gets down to clutch time, we just come together and we made it through.”
Monroe led most of the way until the third quarter, where a late Warriors’ run gave Edmonds-Woodway a one-point lead at the end of the period. The Warriors continued to shoot well in the fourth, leading by as many as seven points with three minutes to go.
Then the Bearcats made it interesting.
Monroe went on an 8-0 run, with a 3-pointer by Deidra Miller giving the Bearcats the lead once again with under a minute to go in regulation.
“You see their number’s going up and our number’s staying the same and you just look at the clock and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got this,’” said Sidney Eck, one of three Edmonds-Woodway seniors. “You have to settle yourself down. I think we pulled ourselves together really well and came together as a team.”
Edmonds-Woodway head coach Rebekah Wells helped with that process, calling a quick timeout after Miller added a free throw to make it a two-point lead.
“I just said it was all about desire and heart. It’s a gut-check time,” Wells said. “Just play your game and believe in each other. It wasn’t any strategy or any certain play. Just play our game.”
The Warriors came out of the timeout and found Peterson cutting to the hoop for two points. Edmonds-Woodway had a chance to win the game after stealing Monroe’s inbounds pass, but couldn’t score before the buzzer sounded.
The Warriors followed the late-game heroics by outscoring Monroe 7-2 in the overtime period, clinching their third victory over Monroe this season, and second in the district tournament.
“The first two games we played them, they were a tough team, so we knew coming out the third time they were going to fight to win this one,” Peterson said. “It was a close game the whole game and we were able to comeback in the second half. Going into overtime, it was nerve-wracking but our team was able to pull it together.”
Peterson had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The freshman added five steals for Edmonds-Woodway (16-8 overall).
“These last few games she’s been reaching her potential,” Wells said of Peterson. “She has done a really great job this year and sometimes there’s a few freshman tendencies – just more nerves – but then she has these big games and does really well. She’s a great player just playing her game.”
Moni Jackson also scored 13 points for Edmonds-Woodway and fellow junior Natalie Kasper added 12 points to a very balanced scoring attack for the Warriors, who beat the Bearcats 45-35 in the opening round of the district tournament at Monroe on Feb. 11.
Miller led Monroe (13-11) with 16 points and eight rebounds. Miller is one of only two seniors for the Bearcats, who also got 10 points from Amber Van Brunt.
“It feels amazing. We’ve wanted to beat this team and (have been) preparing for them for so long,” said Eck, who added seven points and eight rebounds. “It feels like we’ve been preparing for them for the last year.”
Edmonds-Woodway will host Eastlake — the Kingco No. 3 seed after a 66-60 win over Woodinville Thursday night — on Saturday at Edmonds-Woodway High School. If the Warriors can pull out a victory, they will return to the state tournament for the first time since 2011.
The Warriors are eager for the challenge.
“This is what our team’s been waiting for since the beginning of the season,” Peterson said. “This is one of our goals this season and it’s going to be awesome. We’re really excited to play Saturday at home.”
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Edmonds Woodway 13 8 15 14 7 — 57
Monroe 15 14 6 15 2 — 52
Edmonds-Woodway–Kate Wooley 4, Mady Burdett 6, Sidney Eck 7, Natalie Kasper 12, Maddy Nealey 2, Claire Fyfe 0, Moni Jackson 13, Lea Bakken 0, Missy Peterson 13. Monroe–Kylee Ferreira 6, Jordyn Turner 5, Emily Donnelly 0, Hannah Drivstuen 0, Alex Alexander 2, Deidra Miller 16, Chelsea Santjer 0, Jadynn Alexander 9, Amber Van Brunt 10, Loryn Moore 4. 3-point goals–Burdett 1, Kasper 1, Peterson 1, Ferreira 2, Turner 1, Miller 1. Records–Edmonds-Woodway 16-8 overall. Monroe 13-11.