BOTHELL — Gone this season is the 2012 senior class that was the catalyst to the turnaround in Lynnwood High School girls basketball. And the off-season Wesco realignment moved the Royals, with a varsity roster that features nary a player 6-feet or taller, from Class 3A to Class 4A.
Anyone watching Lynnwood’s Wesco 4A south opener with Kamiak on Friday night got to see that none of those things will bother the Royals, who cruised to a 69-26 victory over the Knights.
The convincing result seemed to be a bit of a shock to both teams and especially to Kamiak coach Wes Williams, who watched his team go without a field goal for a 20-minute stretch that ran from the second quarter to the final two minutes of the fourth.
“I have no idea (what happened),” Williams said. “We still have work to do.”
The Royals’ defensive pressure seemed to have an accumulative effect as Kamiak was able to withstand it early, but succumbed to the surge and couldn’t figure out how to get back into any semblance of an offensive rhythm.
“We like to press a lot,” Lynnwood’s Grace Douglas said. “We try and get as many steals and overwhelm teams. Today it was working for us and we were talking a lot. We have a lot of good communication.”
Douglas opened the game with a 3, but Kamiak answered with the next two field goals and trailed just 5-4 midway through the first quarter. The Royals, doubleteamed, trapped and pressed, but the Knights looked poised for the first eight minutes.
Lynnwood didn’t shoot particularly well, especially in the first quarter, outside of Douglas, who scored a career-high 19 points, including five 3s on the night.
“Grace Douglas shot the ball well … Grace was hitting everything,” Edwards said. “Thank goodness she was because our outside shots weren’t necessarily falling at the percentage that we are used to. Grace kinda carried us through until we got a bit of a cushion.”
The Knights converted more field goals than Lynnwood in the first quarter, but Douglas’ three 3s and Jasmine Edwards’ five free throws pushed the Royals to a 19-14 edge. Edwards finished second on the team with 14 points.
Kamiak continued to hang around until the mid-point of the second quarter when the Royals’ Mikayla Pivec sparked a 12-0 run that essentially knocked the Knights out of the game.
Pivec, who was the Royals’ third-highest scorer with nine points, started with a head-turning drive and one-handed shot. The sophomore then turned a steal into a quick transition basket to spark the spurt. The Royals’ defense kept it going the rest of the game.
“The pressure defense,” Williams said. “I had my team prepare for it, but I guess it wasn’t enough.”
In the end Lynnwood aced its first 4A test.
“It was really fun,” Douglas said. “We didn’t really know what to expect, so we just went out there and played hard.”
Tougher tests loom next week when the Royals will take on traditional league powers.
“So far so good,” Edwards said of his team’s 3-0 start. “We have Edmonds-Woodway and Jackson coming up on Wednesday and Friday … it’s going to be big games for us.”
Friday was the first game of the season for senior guard Izzy Maza, who came back from an ankle injury. Freshman Jordyn Edwards (elbow) and sophomore Danielle Hayes (back trouble) sat out with injuries.
But the reserves stepped up and barely skipped a beat when the running clock was evoked and Edwards began subbing liberally in the third quarter.
“If we are a healthy team, I think we are going to be competitive,” Edwards said. “It’s a great sign for our program that we can have injuries and still play at a high level.”
At Lynnwood H.S.
Kamiak—Tylor Adcock 2, Monique Canda 1, Grace Hamill 2, Katy Hamill 1, Melanie Lachapelle 2, Kaiya Larsen 0, Aubrey Patrick 8, Emily Pillman 4, Tiana Roe 0, Margaret Slack 4, Salena Taylor 2. Lynnwood—Jasmin Edwards 14, Izzy Maza 2, Grace Douglas 19, Mikayla Pivec 9, Nikki Trautman 7, Arsenia Ivanov 6, Linda Wilson 5, Amina Donahoe 4, Chelsea Campbell 3. 3-point goals—Douglas 5, Ivanov 2, Trautman 1. Records—Kamiak 0-1 league, 1-2 overall. Lynnwood 1-0, 3-0.