MARYSVILLE — In a physical and emotional game against its crosstown rivals, the Marysville Pilchuck boys basketball team found itself losing its grip on a game it had control of for nearly three quarters.
But the Tomahawks settled down, hit their free throws and escaped Marysville Getchell’s gym with a 62-56 win Thursday night that gives them triple the number of wins they had last year just four games into the season.
“That was a really cool environment,” said Marysville Pilchuck head coach Bary Gould. This is a different team from last year. I don’t want to focus on the past.
“It’s good to win our first league game,” Gould continued. “It definitely feels good.”
After a strong second quarter, Marysville Pilchuck held a double-digit lead for most of the rest of the way until a 3-pointer by Austin Miller sparked a Chargers’ comeback with 1 minute, 45 seconds left in the contest.
Marysville Getchell forced four turnovers, hit three free throws and got a layin from Deyon Robertson to cap a 8-0 run and draw itself to within four points of MP at 59-55 with :45 to play.
But Marysville Pilchuck’s Nate Heckendorf was fouled going to the hoop the next time down the court and split a pair of free throws to start MP’s rebuttal. The Tomahawks then got a pair of huge free throws from big man Kaleb Keeton sandwiched between two defensive stops to seal the win.
“I was disappointed we gave up that lead,” Gould said, “but I was happy that we were able to compose ourselves and come out with the win.”
After a sloppy first quarter, Marysville Pilchuck got untracked behind the play of Bryce Juneau. The sophomore point guard scored 10 of the Tomahawks’ 21 points in the quarter and was a pesky defensive presence as MP jumped out to a 30-20 halftime lead.
“Bryce is a special player,” Gould said. “I think a lot of success came from our press (in the second quarter) and Bryce’s ability to finish.”
After winning just one game a year ago, Marysville Pilchuck is now 3-1 with wins over Snohomish, Lake Stevens and Marysville Getchell. The Tomahawks are tied with Stanwood at 1-0 atop the Wesco 3A North standings.
“I’m not surprised,” Gould said of his team’s early success. “These guys play a lot of basketball over the summer and I knew we’d win some games. I’m confident in their preparation and the time they’ve put in.”
The loss drops the Chargers to 0-5 on the young season. Despite scoring just one point in the first quarter, Nathen Grimm led Marysville Getchell with 21 points.
At Marysville Getchell H.S.
Marysville Pilchuck 9 21 17 15 — 62
Marysville Getchell 7 13 15 21 — 56
Marysville Pilchuck—Bryce Juneau 12, Bryce Vitcovich 0, Nate Heckendorf 9, Josh Bevan 14, Mark Reznikov 0, Michael Painter 14, Cole Grinde 6, Dante Fields 3, TJ Rice 0, Kaleb Keeton 4. Marysville Getchell—Austin Miller 6, Kaleb Seymer 4, Nathen Grimm 21, Kody Phaysith 5, Jordan Russell-Robinson 3, Collin Montez 4, Robertson 14. 3-point goals—Bevan 2, Miller 2, Painter. Records—Marysville Pilchuck 1-0 league, 3-1 overall. Marysville Getchell 0-1, 0-4.