SHORELINE — Before the season, Shorecrest girls basketball coach Dori Monson said it might take some time for his young team to reach its potential.
After Friday’s 65-39 victory over Stanwood, it would appear the Scots are ahead of schedule.
“We’ve had about three (games) in a row now where we’re starting to really hit our stride,” Monson said. “We’re starting to climb towards out potential. That’s all a coach could really ask for at this point.”
Eight of the 13 players on the Scots’ roster are freshman or sophomores, but it doesn’t show on the court.
“They have never acted like freshmen and sophomores,” Monson said. “They carry themselves with a real professional attitude toward the game. We have very lofty goals for ourselves this season and I think we’re starting to see our potential of being able to get those goals.”
Stanwood scored the game’s opening points and the two teams exchanged the first eight baskets of the game before the Scots youth started to pull away. Shorecrest finished the first quarter on a 9-3 run to lead 19-11. The Scots extended that lead to as many as 16 in the second quarter and led 33-19 at halftime.
Sophomore guard Wurrie Njadoe scored 13 of her 18 points in the first half.
“She’s one of the best athletes I’ll ever see,” Monson said. “She’s lightning fast and she really creates problems for everyone we play.”
She’s not the only one, sisters Onyie and Uju Chibuogwu have a tendency to wear down the opponent’s interior defense. Onyie, a senior, scored 14 points and Uju added nine, seven of which came in the third quarter.
Onyie and Uju scored the first seven points of the third quarter and the Scots went on a 9-0 run to lead 42-19 all but putting the game out of reach for the Spartans.
Tristan Murphy made her season debut for Stanwood scoring 16 points, but the supporting cast struggled, especially in the second half. The Spartans shot 11-for-51 for the game and 4-for-28 in the game’s final 16 minutes.
“When the shots not going in you have a tendency to think a whole lot about it,” Stanwood head coach Dennis Kloke said. “And where does it show up – on the defensive end.”
Murphy paced the Spartans offense in her return, but it will take the junior post some time to get back into playing shape.
“She’s practice hard every day, but it’s not the same as one or two games a week,” Kloke said. “You can’t simulate that.
“Her fatigue shows up on the defensive end.”
With teams like Glacier Peak, Everett and Stanwood in the Wesco 3A, the Scots were an afterthought for many before the season. It appears it’s time to take the Scots seriously.
“Right now, they’re the best team we’ve played,” Kloke said.
Monson admitted being overlooked before the season has served as a motivator for his team.
“We loved that nobody picked us to be near the top,” Monson said. “One thing that we all considered a motivation was that everybody maybe discounted us a little bit because we were such a young team. We were fine with that. We don’t care what anybody thinks. We just want to be where we want to be at the end of the season.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Shorecrest H.S.
Stanwood 11 8 11 9 — 39
Shorecrest 19 14 17 15 — 65
Stanwood—Sierra Palmer 2, Julia Heichel 4, Samantha Powell 1, Macael Hansen 0, Haley Strowbridge 4, Jillian Jacobs 9, Kylie Wright 0, Ashley Bierer 1, Tristan Murphy 16. Shorecrest— Lindsey Shattuck 4, Wurrie Njadoe 18, Jazlyn Owens 3, Hailey Bouffiou 0, Keyonna Jones 9, Onyie Chibuogwu 14, Savannah Tidwell 2, Jalyn Hizey 6, Samantha Shoemaker 0, Uju Chibuogwu 9. 3-point goals—Jacobs 1, Jones 1, Hizey 1, U. Chibuogwu 1. Records—Stanwood 2-2 league, 5-5 overall.