Key shots lead Lynnwood girls past Lake Stevens and into district title game

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The Lynnwood Royals managed only two field goals in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game, but boy did they come at the right time.

Lynnwood, which had led early, was in trouble as halftime approached thanks to a 13-0 run by Lake Stevens, but the Royals scored twice to end the quarter — as well as the Vikings’ run — then carried that momentum into the second half on the way to a 45-36 victory in the semifinals of the 4A District 1 Tournament.

“That gave us a little bit of momentum,” said Lynnwood coach Everett Edwards. “They were playing very good defense and taking us out of some of the things that we wanted to do. It was a situation where getting those last couple of buckets before the half gave us some confidence going into the third quarter, then we had a very good third quarter and were able to hang on for the win.”

Lynnwood, which improved to 21-1, plays Arlington (19-3) at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mountlake Terrace High School for the District championship. The victory also assures the Royals a trip to the state regionals.

After the Royals took an eight point lead early in the second quarter, the Vikings came storming back thanks to a 13-0 run sparked by the Pahukoa twins. Brooke Pahukoa started things off with a layup, then twin sister Brittney took over, scoring eight straight points. But just when it looked like the Vikings might be taking over the game, Lynnwood senior post Linda Wilson ended the run with a layup, then after a Vikings miss, Mikayla Pivec scored with 10 seconds left in the half to make it a one-point game. From there, the Royals outscored Lake Stevens 23-13 in the second half.

“We knew it was going to be that kind of game, kind of nip and tuck,” said Vikings coach Randy Edens. “That little momentum stretch right before the half where we had gone up five, and they came back with a 4-0 run, then we turned it over and didn’t get the last shot, that was a big sequence. That allowed for some momentum for them.”

Once the Royals took the lead midway through the third quarter, they never trailed, but the Vikings did make things close late in the fourth quarter, eventually making it a three-point game on a Kali Long layup. Senior Arsenia Ivanov responded with a three-pointer on just her second field-goal attempt of the game, giving Lynnwood some much-needed breathing room.

Pivec, a freshman wing, scored a game-high 18 points and had 10 rebounds to go along with that big bucket to end the first half. She opened the game by scoring six first-quarter points as the Royals took the early lead, then finished strong by draining a pair of free throws in the final minute to help put the game on ice.

“I just tried to be aggressive, because that’s what my coach tells me to do,” Pivec said. “I was just glad we go the win. It was huge.”

Edwards wasn’t surprised to see the freshman step up on a big stage.

“Mikayla is a very talented player for her age,” Edwards said. “She has a level of maturity and basketball smarts about her that is just exceptional for a freshman.”

Fellow freshman Jordyn Edwards had eight points for Lynnwood, while Wilson added six points and 10 rebounds.

The Vikings (15-7) will host the winner of the consolation game between Kamiak and Jackson at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a loser-out game, hoping their offense can match the solid defensive effort put up in Saturday’s loss.

“Defensively we were great; on offense we just couldn’t get shots to go down,” Edens said. “It was tough… It was just one of those low scoring affairs.”

Brittney Pahukoa led the Vikings with 15 points, while Brooke Pahukoa had nine.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

At Mountlake Terrace H.S.

Lake Stevens 8 15 5 8 — 36

Mountlake Terrace 14 8 12 11 — 45

Lake Stevens—Alex Briggs 2, Cassidy Fifield 0, Chelsea Pahls 4, Brittany Pahukoa 15, Emily Vadnegrift 0, Brooke Pahukoa 9, Kali Long 6. Lynnwood—Jasmine Edwards 4, Izzy Maza 2, Grace Douglas 2, Mikayla Pivec 18, Amina Donahoe 0, Arsenia Ivanov 5, Jordyn Edwards 8, Danielle Hayes 0, Linda Wilson 6. 3-point goals—Brittney Pahukoa 3, Pivec 1, Ivanov 1, Jordyn Edwards 3. Records—Lake Stevens 15-7 overall. Lynnwood 21-1.

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