By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
MILL CREEK — Jackson’s Faithaleen Lopez-Flores hit a big 3-pointer and teammate Anna Johnson hit two free throws in the final 2 minutes and Jackson held on as Edmonds-Woodway was unable to get off a 3-point attempt at the buzzer for a 53-50 victory in the Wesco 4A South opener for both teams.
“Edmonds-Woodway is always such a great team and they’re so well-rounded,” said Jackson head coach Jeannie Boyer. “Their inside-outside game is always the best in the conference so for our kids to battle for our first outing and for us to pull out a close game was so nice to see.”
The game wasn’t just the league opener for Jackson but the first game of the season as it watched from the sidelines as other teams in the league played games since the season started on Nov. 26. The rust was evident early as Jackson went scoreless for the game’s first five minutes and E-W jumped out to a 6-0 lead. But jumpstarted by a free throw by Kelli Kingma, Jackson reeled off 11 straight points to take a 11-6 lead.
“They were playing calm, we had the right shots and we were getting the right looks they were just rimming out,” Boyer said of the slow start. “So I just told them to keep their confidence and keep shooting the ball the way they were doing and they’d start falling. Once Kelli hit that first free throw the lid was off and we were able to put it down.”
Jackson took a 20-13 lead into halftime but the second half was a track meet compared to the jagged first half. Both teams combined to score 14 points in the half’s first two minutes and Warriors sophomore guard Natalie Kasper scored 10 points, including a pair of 3s, as E-W drew to within a point late in the third quarter.
Kingma hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and Jackson remained in control until Edmonds-Woodway post Sidney Eck helped the Warriors get back into the game. Eck, who scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, scored two layins sandwiched between a pair of free throws by teammate Moni Jackson to fueld a 6-0 E-W run and tie the score at 47 with 1:55 left in the game.
“Sidney Eck is one of the best post players in our conference,” Boyer said. “We knew that was going to be a weakness for us versus a strength for them. But I was really proud of our kids for having really battled her and really made her work for her points and we were able to fend them just enough to be able to squeak out a win.”
After forcing Edmonds-Woodway into a turnover and still tied, Lopez-Flores hit a 3-pointer from the corner and Johnson hit two free throws to give Jackson a five-point lead. Eck converted a three-point play with 55 seconds left and Sierra Anderson hit the front end of a pair of free throws to set up E-W’s final possession.
At Jackson H.S.
Edmonds-Woodway—Cassady Orstad 0, Mady Burdett 5, Sidney Eck 20, Natalie Kasper 13, Maddy Nealey 2, Claire Fyfe 2, Moni Jackson 6, Seyi Olajoyegbe 2. Jackson—Kelli Kingma 13, Sierra Anderson 11, Sierra Hagans 2, Jessica Rawlins 0, Anna Johnson 6, Martina Mason 0, Faithaleen Lopez-Flores 13, Rachel Nies 8. 3-point goals—Kasper 3, Lopez-Flores 3, Kingma 1, Burdett 1. Records—Edmonds-Woodway 0-1 league, 2-2 overall. Jackson 1-0, 1-0.