BOTHELL — It was a strong defensive battle Wednesday night and one young Lynnwood player was right in the middle of it.
The freshman wing had seven points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots, to help lead the Lynnwood girls basketball team to a 47-39 Wesco 4A crossover win against Arlington at Lynnwood High School.
“That Pivec kid just killed us tonight,” Arlington head coach Joe Marsh said. “She grabbed everything.”
Pivec played a huge role in Lynnwood defying the obvious height advantage Arlington had. The Eagles have four players listed on their roster at 6-feet or taller. The tallest player for Lynnwood is 5-foot-11 post Linda Wilson.
“Speed kind of beat out height tonight,” said Everett Edwards, the Royals’ head coach. “We take pride in being small. We like being that team.”
After struggling in the first half, Arlington made a concerted effort in the third quarter to get the ball inside to Lindsay Brown (6-foot-1) and Jayla Russ (6-feet), which worked at times. But in the end, Lynnwood’s full-court, pressure defense wore down the Eagles.
“It starts with our ability to pressure the ball,” Edwards said. “It’s a result of helping pressure the heck out of the ball.”
The up-tempo, quick transition style of play that Lynnwood favors was something Arlington was trying to avoid.
“We didn’t want to get in a track meet,” Marsh said. “I knew this was going to be a battle tonight. We both have two good defenses. We didn’t get a chance to take advantage of our size.”
Lynnwood had a different advantage, however — playing at home. The Royals are undefeated this year at their gymnasium and have only lost one game there in the past two years.
“We’re happy to play at home,” Edwards said. “It gives us a certain amount of energy with the fans being loud.”
Pivec got the hometown crowd rocking early. She was a big part in helping Lynnwood outrebound Arlington 10-4 in the opening quarter while getting out to the early lead. Both teams scored nine points apiece in the second and third quarters, before Lynnwood put the game away in the fourth.
Grace Douglas led the Royals in scoring with 11 points. Jasmin Edwards scored 10 points and Wilson added six points and eight rebounds.
“Mikayla (Pivec) did a great job. Jasmin was a rock for us. Grace Douglas got us some points,” Everett Edwards said. “… Just a great all-around team effort.”
The low-scoring game didn’t surprise either coach, who were both expecting a defensive showcase.
“I figured it would be about how it went,” Edwards said. “Figured it would be a defensive battle.”
Marsh credited Lynnwood with playing the game at a faster pace, which benefitted the quicker Royals.
“Lynnwood’s a great team,” Marsh said. “They did what great teams do. They played at their pace.”
Edwards told his team to drive the ball in the second half and take it to the Arlington defense. He said that if the Royals did that, the offense would come.
And it did.
“I told our girls to be more aggressive. To get into the paint and make a play,” Edwards said. “I thought we were taking good shots, they just weren’t dropping for us. We exert so much energy on the defensive side, sometimes it hurts our offense.”
Winter Brown had a game-high 14 points to pace Arlington. Brown added nine points and eight rebounds for the Eagles, who dropped their first game of the season.
The game featured the teams atop the Wesco 4A North and South standings, with both teams now 9-1 in league and 14-1 overall.
“Our girls were ready to play tonight,” Edwards said. “This was a big game.”
Rather than get caught up in the one game, Edwards maintained that his team will enjoy the win, but remain focused on a big goal that Lynnwood has for the season: a Wesco South title.
“(The win) helps with our confidence and our mojo,” Edwards said. “It’s a big step for us in trying to achieve our goal of winning the Wesco South.”
At Lynnwood H.S.
Arlington–Taylor Graham 0, Veronica Ladines 0, Lindsay Brown 9, Krista Showalter 3, Emma Janousek 0, Jessica Ludwig 8, Winter Brown 14, Jayla Russ 4, Lyndsay Leatherman 1. Lynnwood–Jasmin Edwards 10, Izzy Maza 6, Grace Douglas 11, Mikayla Pivec 7, Nikki Trautman 0, Arsenia Ivanov 0, Jordyn Edwards 3, Danielle Hayes 4, Linda Wilson 6. 3-point goals–Brown 1, Showalter 1, Brown 2, Ja. Edwards 1, Maza 2, Douglas 2. Records–Arlington 9-1 league, 14-1 overall. Lynnwood 9-1, 14-1.