By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — The venue changed and the teams switched their uniform colors from blue to white and vice versa, but the result was the same for the Meadowdale and Glacier Peak boys basketball teams.
This time Meadowdale escaped Glacier Peak’s gym with a tight 52-49 win that made the Mavs look like the favorite to solidify the Wesco South’s top 3A spot just behind Jackson in the overall rankings. On Dec. 10 Meadowdale won 56-55.
Offensive fireworks were absent on both sides of the ball, but toughness, elbows and defense were all over the court Thursday night. Glacier Peak’s Jack Bonner’s 14 points was the game high.
One of those elbows met the forehead of Peak’s Drew Cummins. Devon Kiser was going up for one of his eight rebounds on the night in the first half. When he came down his elbow met the head of his teammate with force.
Initially the concern was for Kiser whose arm went numb momentarily, but very quickly it was clear who got the worse end of the collision. A gash opened up on Cummins head and blood covered his jersey. Play stopped for around seven minutes while he was attended to. Cummins sat out the remainder of the game and the seven points he averaged per game could have been the difference.
“He tried to check himself in (in the third quarter),” Grizzlies coach Brian Hunter said. “We probably had it covered up to where he could play. You definitely want to win these games but the games that really matter are down the road. He’ll notice (the cut) for a long time.”
Instead of the 6-foot senior guard from Glacier Peak being the difference, the Mavericks own 6-foot senior had the key points.
With one minute and 22 seconds remaining in the game, Meadowdale’s Sam Werner was protecting the ball and a three-point lead at the top of the key early in the shot clock. He picked up his pivot foot and was whistled for too many steps giving Peak a chance.
The Grizzlies pulled to within one but Werner’s two free throws with 1.9 seconds to go sealed the game.
“Sam’s clutch,” Mavs coach Chad McGuire said. “He likes those pressure situations.”
Werner led a balanced Meadowdale attack with 13 points and three 3 pointers.
Glacier Peak fell behind by 12 early in the fourth quarter when Conor Hamlett opened the quarter scoring with a putback of his own miss followed by a nifty steal and layin by Matt Beucherie.
After missing all of their 3-point attempts in the third quarter, the Grizzlies finally got one to fall in the fourth. Brandon Hill hit an open shot from long range to trim the Mav’s lead to 40-33. He finished with 13 points. On the next trip down the floor Nick Persha hit one to make it a two-possession game with 4:50 to go. Persha ended with 13 as well.
Persha got his second of the quarter from the corner with 3:08 remaining in the game, forcing a Mav timeout with the score at 44-42.
The 6-foot-7 Hamlett , who finished with eight points, picked up his fourth foul midway through the fourth to open what seemed like a huge hole in the Mavericks post. Junior Dylan Buck filled in nicely, hitting two buckets to answer the onslaught of Grizzly treys.
For Hunter it was the Meadowdale defense early and in cluth situations late that was the difference.
“Their defense is tough,” Hunter said. “That’s why they are good. … They are the standard that all 3A teams try to get to.”
Glacier Peak has little time to regroup, drawing Shorecrest tonight in the final game of a three-game-in-one -week gauntlet that started with Jackson.
At Glacier Peak H.S.
Meadowdale—Neff-Warner 0, Casper 0, Linton 6, Werner 13, Beucherie 3, Tallman 12, Gage 0, Dooley 0, Sand 4, Buck 6, Hamlett 8, Spade 0. Glacier Peak—Persha 13, Hill 13, Southard 0, Cumins 0, Manning 0, Harris 0, Pederson 0, Kiser 7, Bonner 14, Forkey 0, Pervier 2. 3-point goals—Werner 3, Persha 3, Hill 2, Tallman 2, Linton 2. Records—Meadowdale 9-2 league 11-2 overall, Glacier Peak 6-5, 8-5.