BOTHELL — Ask any basketball coach at any level, even after their team’s best game, and they will almost certainly never go as far as to say their team played perfect.
Lynnwood girls basketball coach Everett Edwards didn’t use that word after Tuesday’s 60-15 victory over Edmonds-Woodway, but it’s hard to imagine his team playing any better.
“We brought the defensive energy that we normally bring, but we actually shot the ball pretty well,” Edwards said. “After the Mount Rainier game we made a concerted effort to shoot the ball better and it paid off today.”
Lynnwood defeated the Rams 57-54 in double overtime on Saturday at the Muscle Milk Preview at Highline Community College in a game that featured the two teams widely considered to be the favorites for the 4A state title. The Royals led for the majority of the game, but didn’t shoot the ball well from the field, especially from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Royals didn’t have that problem on Tuesday, jumping out to a 19-0 advantage before the Warriors even had a shot attempt that counted in the scorebook. Warriors junior guard Moni Jackson was fouled on a drive to the rim with Lynnwood up 13-0, but missed both free throws.
Jackson scored Edmonds-Woodway’s first points with 3:54 to go in the first quarter, but Lynnwood’s defense continued to suffocate the Warriors forcing turnover after turnover. The Royals built a 23-7 lead after the first quarter.
As bad as the first quarter was for Edmonds-Woodway, the second quarter was even worse. Lynnwood outscored the Warriors 20-0 in the second quarter to lead 43-7 at halftime.
“They were definitely the team I expected, I just didn’t expect this,” Edmonds-Woodway head coach Rebekah Wells said. “We kind of froze a little bit and we tried to play at their speed of game. They are an excellent team in transition and getting the ball up and down the court and making great passes and dishing the ball around. We were just a little too hesitant and tried to play their pace and it caught up to us.”
Pivec led the Royals with 11 points at halftime. She finished the game with 15 and was 7-for-8 from the field. Fellow sophomore Jordyn Edwards didn’t shoot the ball much, but made the most of her opportunities, scoring 11 points and shooting 4-for-5 from the field.
After a 19-0 run to start the first quarter and a 20-0 advantage in the entirety of the second, the Royals scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to continue their string of fast starts.
“We try to do that every time, but it doesn’t always work out that way,” Edwards said. “Tonight was our best first half of basketball where we put it together on the offensive end as well as the defensive end.
The Royals continued to shoot the ball at a high level throughout the game, finishing 25-for-55 (55 percent). Much of Lynnwood’s offense was built off of its stellar defensive effort. The Royals pressure defense made it difficult to the Warriors to even get the ball on their own side of the floor. When they did advance the ball past half court and get off a shot, the Warriors made just six of their 26 attempts (23 percent)
“Defense is in our DNA,” Edwards said. “We like to play defense and the girls enjoy it. Some of our kids actually like to play defense more than they like to play offense.”