Royals focused on bouncing back, claiming third place

TACOMA — The Lynnwood girls basketball team isn’t used to losing, and when the Royals do get beat, they focus on bouncing back.

That’s their goal today after suffering a 61-56 defeat at the hands of Gonzaga Prep in Friday’s 4A state tournament semifinals. The loss was just the Royals’ fourth in the past two seasons, and two of those came in the state playoffs.

“I think we’re going to respond well,” Lynnwood coach Everett Edwards said. “We’ve responded well to losses the last couple of years. We’re going to come back and we’re going to lick our wounds a little bit and come back ready to play (Saturday) to try to bring home a third-place trophy.”

The Royals face Moses Lake at 11:15 a.m. today to determine third and fifth place in this year’s Hardwood Classic.

“We want to finish this season with a win, so whatever it takes to pull through the next game,” said Jasmin Edwards, one of three Lynnwood seniors and one of the coach’s two daughters on the team. “That’s what we’re thinking about.”

Lynnwood’s defense generally gives its opponents fits. That, coupled with Lynnwood’s great shooters, has been a recipe for many blowouts this season for the Royals.

Not Friday against Gonzaga Prep, however.

“Normally we’re able to go on these great runs throughout the game,” Jasmin Edwards said. “… We just weren’t able to push through and finish those runs and get a good lead (Friday).”

The Royals also weren’t used to battling back from behind.

“All season we’re used to kind of having a pretty good lead and just battling back from behind, we were ready to do it and we were ready to break away and it didn’t happen,” Lynnwood senior Grace Douglas said. “We tried. We used all our effort and gave it all we could and just trying to fight from behind was a little more difficult.”

Everett Edwards praised his team’s effort after the loss, adding that the Royals had trouble getting breaks to go their way.

“I’m super proud of our team,” the Lynnwood coach said. “We fought back in the second half … Then kind of the wheels fell off the bus a little bit. We had a tough situation, some tough calls in the end, some 50-50 calls that didn’t go our way, but that’s how basketball goes.”

The Royals were visibly upset after the game, but stayed to watch the Mount Rainier-Moses Lake contest to scout their next opponent. Moses Lake lost, also in a close game, to become that next foe.

Now, the Royals are motivated to close out their season with something they’ve had plenty of these past few seasons.

A victory.

“It’s the last game of the year,” coach Edwards said. “It’s a situation where you have a chance to win the last game of the season. It’s the last game for our seniors’ high school basketball career, and that’s all the motivation we need. We are very excited. We will not come into this next game down. We will come in playing as hard as we can to bring home a third-place trophy.”

“It definitely hurts, losing (to Gonzaga Prep), knowing that we could have won that game,” Jasmin Edwards said. “But we’re just going to stay as a team — like a family like we always are — and thank all of our friends and family and just come out strong (today).”

Herald writer David Krueger can be reached at dkrueger@heraldnet.com.

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