LYNNWOOD — The second half of Wednesday’s Meadowdale-Marysville Pilchuck girls basketball game was a back-and-forth affair. Tightly contested and evenly matched.
Unfortunately for Meadowdale, there was a first half.
The Mavericks sank an early shot for the game’s first two points, but from there they managed just one more field goal in the first two quarters. By halftime Marysville Pilchuck had surged to a 32-7 lead, and the Tomahawks never let Meadowdale get closer than 20 points in the second half on the way to a 51-24 3A District 1 playoff victory.
The victory moves Marysville Pilchuck into Saturday’s 6 p.m. third-place game against Ferndale at Lynnwood High School. The Tomahawks, who have won four of their past five games, are one win away from reaching a state regional berth.
And they owe it all to a decisive first half against Meadowdale. Marysville Pilchuck spotted the Mavericks two early points, but then went on a 15-3 scoring burst over the rest of the opening quarter and outscored Meadowdale 17-2 in the second period.
“It was an outstanding team effort, for sure,” said Tomahawks head coach Julie Martin. “That competitive spirit that I’ve wanted for the entire season, and now they’re bringing it. It’s really nice to see.”
Marysville Pilchuck’s Jenika Anglim had 12 of her game-high 22 points in the first half, including a string of eight straight points to start the second quarter with a free throw, a 3-pointer, a fast-break layin and a shot from the key, all in less than three minutes.
“She’s really come on strong at the end of the season,” Martin said of Anglim, who had 34 points in a Feb. 6 win over Everett. “She has a lot of confidence.”
For Meadowdale, meanwhile, confidence was missing in the first half, and so were a lot of shots. Mavericks head coach Marcus Merrifield did not having shooting stats after the game, “but I’m sure the first half (field goal percentage) was in single digits,” he said.
“We just missed so many shots in the first half,” he went on. “We got discouraged offensively, and whenever that happens it compounds everything. When shots don’t fall, defense seems like it’s harder, getting rebounds seems like it’s harder. Everything that doesn’t bounce your way feels worse, and I think that’s what happened in the first half for us.”
Post Ndey Sonko gave Meadowdale a spark in the third quarter, scoring 10 straight points for her team in the first four minutes. She added two more field goals to start the fourth period, but by then the Mavericks were merely trading points with Marysville Pilchuck.
The loss ended Meadowdale’s season, but that disappointment was tempered by the team’s strong showing in the district tournament. The Mavericks upset Everett in the district opener and then gave Mountlake Terrace a tough battle in a winner-to-state game last Saturday.
“I think this team overachieved,” Merrifield said. “A lot of people picked us to not go anywhere, to finish last in our league. … I’m really proud of getting to where we did. I thought we peaked at the right time. I knew it was going to take a while for us to get there, but we did and I’m just proud that we stuck together and finished.”
Marysville Pilchuck will look forward to facing Ferndale on Saturday night, knowing the winner will advance into the state playoffs.
“I’ve seen it the last few games where (the Tomahawks) are feeling that they can do this,” Martin said. “And like (Seattle Seahawks quarterback) Russell Wilson says, why not us?
“We have seven seniors that don’t want to let this go,” she said. “Not just on the court, but off the court, too. The bond they share is really unique and really special.”
At Meadowdale H.S.
Marysville Pilchuck 15 17 12 7 — 51
Meadowdale 5 2 11 6 — 24
Marysville Pilchuck—Charlee Pilon 10, Amanda Klep 12, Megan Owens 0, Halie Romo 0, Jenika Anglim 22, Amanda Kalab 0, Jordan Bengen 7, Marley Reynolds 0, Binta Bojang 0, Stephanie Struthers 0, Skyleen Inthatirath 0. Meadowdale—Ciarra Hart 0, Kassi Dotter 0, Kearstin Franco 1, Ali Steen 0, Angela Birchman 0, Hailey Costello 2, Jaclyn Barhoum 0, Samantha Gregoryk 2, Mackenzie Bretz 4, Ndey Sonko 15. 3-point goals—Amanda Klep 2, Jenika Anglim 2.
Records—Marysville Pilchuck is 9-13. Meadowdale is 8-14.