By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
MILL CREEK — A season of joy and accomplishment came to a shocking end for the Lynnwood girls basketball team on Friday night as the Royals dropped a 61-60 double-overtime thriller to Kentwood in a Class 4A state tournament regional game at Jackson High School.
The game was close and hard-fought throughout, though that much was small consolation for Lynnwood, which saw its season come to an abrupt, agonizing close.
“It was a tough game to lose,” said Royals coach Everett Edwards. “And it’s tough to end your season at this point. It’s very disappointing.
“But I couldn’t be prouder of the girls in terms of how they didn’t quit. I obviously wanted to win for our girls, our program and our school, but it just wasn’t our night.”
Lynnwood got its last lead with 1:33 remaining in the second overtime on an offensive rebound layin by guard Jasmin Edwards. She caught a teammate’s airball under the basket and hooked a shot up and in to put the Royals on top 58-57.
But moments later Lynnwood center Linda Wilson was called for her fifth personal foul — a whistle that drew howls of protest from the Lynnwood fans — and Kentwood’s Ashley Rolsma dropped in two free throws.
The Royals had three field goal chances over the next minute, but two came off the rim and the third was blocked with 18 seconds on the clock. Lynnwood had to foul and Kentwood’s Jenny Johnson swished two more free throws with 15 seconds left for a 61-58 margin.
Freshman center Mikayla Pivec scored with a layin with three seconds remaining, but the Royals had no more timeouts and the horn sounded on the inbounds pass, setting off a wild celebration by the Conquerors and their boosters.
Kentwood found its winning edge with shooting. The Conquerors were 22-for-47 from the field (.468), compared to Lynnwood’s 21-for-68 (.309).
Kentwood was also sharp at the free throw line when it counted, hitting eight of their last 10 chances from the stripe in the game’s final six minutes, a stretch when the Royals did not get to the line once.
“I didn’t really expect them to shoot the ball as well as they did,” Edwards said. “They stepped up and hit big shots, so you have to give Kentwood credit.”
Lynnwood had an early 7-2 lead, a five-point spread that was the biggest of the game for either team, while Kentwood’s large lead was 15-11 in the second quarter. Neither team led by more than three points in the second half and in the two overtimes.
There were 15 lead changes and 14 ties.
Junior guard Jasmin Edwards, the coach’s daughter, led all scorers with 23 points, while Pivec added 13 points and 14 rebounds. The Royals also used their perimeter quickness to help force 28 turnovers, but Kentwood countered by blocking seven Lynnwood shots, most right around the basket.
Kentwood’s Jenny Johnson, a junior forward, had a huge game with 18 points and 19 rebounds.
“It’s tough to lose a double-overtime game like that,” Everett Edwards said. “It was a crazy, exciting game, and we just didn’t come out on the winning end.”
The loss was only the second of the season for the Royals, who had rolled to a Western Conference 4A South championship, followed by a District 1 title just last weekend.
“It was a great season for us,” Everett Edwards said. “Our girls can be very proud. To be the Wesco South champs, to be the District 1 champs is great. But we also left a little bit on the table with this one tonight.
“This will hurt for a little bit,” he added. “But at the same time our girls are very strong-willed. They’re great kids and I couldn’t be prouder of the season that we had. I just wish we could’ve gotten a win tonight.”
At Jackson H.S.
Kentwood 11 12 14 12 5 7 — 61
Lynnwood 10 16 14 9 5 6 — 60
Kentwood — Kate Kramer 13, Sarah Toeaina 13, Ashley Rolsma 5, Zaria Jones 2, Chante Brooks 2, Kylee Ashley 8, Jenny Johnson 18. Lynnwood — Jasmin Edwards 23, Izzy Maza 0, Grace Douglas 6, Mikayla Pivec 13, Arsenia Ivanov 3, Jordyn Edwards 5, Danielle Hayes 0, Linda Wilson 10. 3-point goals — Ashley Rolsma 1, Jenny Johnson 1, Jasmin Edwards 1, Grace Douglas 2, Arsenia Ivanov 1. Records — Kentwood is 19-6. Lynnwood is 22-2.