BOTHELL — After the Lynnwood girls basketball team dismantled Jackson 60-35 Friday night, there was little doubt who’s the best team in the Wesco 4A South now.
The Royals’ defense frustrated the Timberwolves throughout the game and allowed more than 10 points in a quarter just once as Lynnwood moved to 3-0 in league play and 5-0 for the season.
“I felt that we played really good team defense,” Lynnwood head coach Everett Edwards said. “Jackson has some great scorers with (Kelli) Kingma and (Sierra) Anderson and (Faithaleen Lopez-Flores), and we did a good job of keeping them a little bit uncomfortable to where they didn’t really have their best shooting night.”
Anderson and Kingma each finished the game seven points and Lopez-Flores had just five. Anderson scored Jackson’s first five points of the game, but managed just two the rest of the way and Kingma was held without a field goal in the first half.
“Lynnwood, you have to give them credit. They are fast, they are aggressive, they are physical and they make you do things that you aren’t comfortable with,” Jackson head coach Jeannie Boyer said. “Our kids were trying almost too hard to make things happen versus letting the offense come to them, and Lynnwood is the type of team that will take advantage of that.”
Another strength of the Lynnwood team is its 3-point shooting, which wasn’t in top form on Friday but still effective. The Royals shot 6-for-16 from behind the arc, including three triples by Grace Douglas.
But, for the most part, it was just the Royals’ defense creating offensive opportunities all night.
“Our defense is our offense,” Edwards said. “What I’ve noticed over the years is that offense kind of comes and goes and some days the 3-point shot is falling and some days they aren’t. But if you play good defense, we are going to at least be in the game. Defense is our DNA. We are a very small team, but we are mighty in our hearts and our efforts.”
The Royals are also balanced. They had four players score in double-figures and just missed out on a fifth with Douglas, who finished with nine points. Freshmen Jordyn Edwards and Mikayla Pivec led the way with 12 points apiece. Junior Jasmin Edwards, the older sister of Jordyn, finished with 11 and senior Linda Wilson added 10.
Pivec also had 13 rebounds, five blocks and five assists to go along with her 13 points and Wilson added a game-high 16 rebounds.
The Royals’ freshman duo of Pivec and Edwards are a big reason why Lynnwood is unbeaten.
“Mikayla and Jordyn have been playing together since they were in the fifth grade,” coach Edwards said. “In terms of their preparation that they have done getting ready for high-school ball, they have spent a lot of time practicing and working on their game. So, for them to come in as freshmen, they really have a level of maturity and experience where they are able to come in and execute the gameplan and strategy and all the things that we are doing. They might be freshman by age and by number, but in terms of their experience and ability they are very strong, solid players.”
Jackson and Lynnwood were considered to be two of the favorites in the league coming into the season, but with the Royals move from 3A to 4A, many didn’t know what to expect.
Boyer sure did.
“We knew when we looked at this game on our schedule, to say that we would have our hands full is an understatement,” Boyer said. “Everett (Edwards) has done just such a good job with them and his kids just compete. They come out for every possession, every loose ball, you can’t take a moment off with them. You saw that in every aspect of the game tonight.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Lynnwood H.S.
Jackson — Faithaleen Lopez-Flores 5, Sierra Anderson 7, Kelli Kingma 7, Shailanna Clinton 0, Mary Charleson 3, Imari Clinton 4, Sierra Hagans 6, Rachel Nies 2, Anna Johnson 1, Emily Boyd 0. Lynnwood — Jasmin Edwards 11, Izzy Maza 3, Grace Douglas 9, Mikayla Pivec 12, Arsenia Ivanov 3, Jordyn Edwards 12, Danielle Hayes 0, Linda Wilson 10, Nikki Trautman 0, Amina Donahoe 0, Chelsea Tuiasosopo-Williams 0. 3-point goals — Anderson 3, Kingma 1, Lopez-Flores 1, Charleson 1, Douglas 3, Maza 1, Jas. Edwards 1, Ivanov 1. Records — Jackson 2-1 league, 2-2 overall; Lynnwood 3-0, 5-0.