LYNNWOOD – The Edmonds-Woodway Warriors have no shortage of go-to guys.
Max Ortiz scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter to spark the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors to a 44-34 victory over the Meadowdale Mavericks in a Western Conference South Division boy’s basketball game Friday night.
Down the stretch the junior guard had a key steal, converted his own offensive rebound into a lay-in and made six straight clutch free throws in the final minute to clinch the victory in the division opener for both teams.
Ortiz’s late heroics were eerily similar to the eight points scored by his backcourt mate Antoinne Wafer in the second overtime period in last Tuesday’s stirring victory over Stanwood.
“You can just stand up on that,” E-W coach Gail Pintler said. “Somebody is going to come up big for us. Against Stanwood it was ‘T’ (Wafer). Tonight it was Max.”
Clinging to a 34-31 lead in the late going, Ortiz collared the rebound when Wafer’s jumpshot caromed off the rim. Ortiz then banked in a lay-in for a five-point lead.
With 1:05 remaining in the game, Meadowdale’s Matt Gorman, who led the Mavericks with nine points, scored to bring his team within 38-34.
But in the final minute Ortiz converted four consecutive free throws on one-and-one opportunities. He added two more foul shots in the double-bonus with 21 seconds to play.
“My free throw shooting has been a little off,” Ortiz said. “Then, I missed my first one tonight. I just remembered what my dad said earlier today. Take a couple of extra dribbles. Take your time.”
“Those free throws just iced the game for us,” Pintler said.
And plenty of ice was needed during and after a game which, as each team anticipated, was very physical.
The last time these teams met was in the district tournament last March where Meadowdale eliminated E-W 48-47 in double overtime.
“Every time we play it’s a battle,” said Warriors’ forward Casey Hamlett (nine points, seven rebounds). “We got back bragging rights for now.”
Meadowdale’s Caleb Law agreed.
“It was a war,” said Law who scored eight points and had his right elbow packed in ice after the game. “You can’t give these guys second chances inside we ended up on the wrong side in the battle and that was the difference. There are a lot of guys walking out here with ice on tonight.”
“Meadowdale’s a great team,” Pintler said. “They’re got gonna back down from anybody and we knew that coming in.”
With 1:15 to play Meadowdale’s Nero Threet III, who scored seven points and led his team with four rebounds, took an errant blow to the temple.
He lay on the floor for several minutes, but got up and walked off the floor to cheers from the fans of both teams.
“Both teams play physical basketball,” Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire said.
“We tried to force them to take tough shots and they did the same to us.
They did a really good job of sending their guys to the offensive boards and that hurt us.
“But, they’re a real good team and so are we. We’re still learning, but we’ll be fine.”
Law’s long 3-pointer gave the Mavericks an early 5-2 lead, but a put-back jam by Eric Greenwood sparked E-W to a 12-11 lead by the time the first quarter was over. Greenwood scored six of his eight points in the period. He added nine rebounds, including three offensive boards.
Each team was stymied in the second quarter. Partly by errant passes, but more-so by the stifling defense being played on both ends of the floor. They eventually battered each other to a 15-15 score by the time the first half ended.
Connor Donaldson added eight points and six rebounds for E-W.
At Meadowdale H.S.
Edmonds-Woodway-Ortiz 9, McCartney 3, Wafer 3, Greenwood 8, Laue 4, Hamlett 9, Donaldson 8. Meadowdale-O’Neill 2, Clampitt 2, Moncrief 4, Gorman 9, Threet 7, Law 8, Dooley 2. 3-point goals-McCartney 1, Law 2. JV score-Meadowdale 50, E-W 30. Records-Edmonds-Woodway 1-0 division, 2-1 overall. Meadowdale 0-1, 2-1.