A sign right outside the Lynnwood gymnasium proclaimed the game between the Royals and Arlington as the two teams that are the “best in Wesco.”
It’s hard to argue. At least for 4A.
Arlington and Lynnwood were Nos. 1 and 2 in the last Herald power poll respectively. Going into Wednesday night, the two teams combined for one loss – the Royals fell to Monroe 40-36 helping the Eagles leapfrog them in the power poll.
The Royals appear poised to leapfrog Arlington and return to the No. 1 spot, after defeating the Eagles 47-39 Wednesday night at Lynnwood High School.
And they did it against a good team that had a significant height advantage. Lynnwood’s tallest player is 5-foot-11. Arlington has four girls over 6-feet tall on their roster.
“Speed kind of beat out height tonight,” said Everett Edwards, the Royals’ head coach. “We take pride in being small. We like being that team.”
It helps that Lynnwood is good at it. The Royals defense plays with the same intensity that Herald Writer Aaron Lommers displays when he’s screwing up his power poll picks. (I kid. Kind of.)
With an up-tempo offense, Lynnwood tries to play the game at its pace, which suits its sub-6-foot team: lightning fast.
“We didn’t want to get in a track meet,” said Joe Marsh, the Arlington girls’ head coach. “I knew this was going to be a battle tonight. We both have two good defenses. We didn’t get a chance to take advantage of our size.”
Admittedly, playing at home was a huge advantage. Edwards said that Lynnwood has lost one game at home the last two years, a 48-46 winner-to-state game against Glacier Peak in the 3A district tournament.
It also didn’t hurt that freshman wing Mikayla Pivec had seven points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots.
Now Lynnwood is a 4A team, and will be starting its postseason quest at Mountlake Terrace High School. But, based on what I’ve seen so far this season, high school kids have plenty of time to travel to away games. There have been more crowd battles this year than I’ve ever seen in my six years at The Herald.
Which makes the games really fun.
The game featured the teams atop the Wesco 4A North (Arlington) and South (Lynnwood) standings, with both teams now 9-1 in league and 14-1 overall.
I think both of these teams are going to make some noise come the postseason, and will continue to be established quite high in the weekly Herald Power Poll. Lynnwood appears to be on its way to the No. 1 position in The Herald power poll, at least for the next week.
The Royals also continued a week-long local trend here in the Pacific Northwest: driving a sword through my “#TheNorthisrising” theory. Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I jinxed them. It’s possible I put too much pressure on the North teams. If that’s the case, I’m so sorry. Just forget I ever said anything.
I sent Lommers, the High Praiser of the Wesco South, a text message saying I was THISCLOSE to switching to the Wesco South bandwagon which elicited this sly reply:
“It’s a smoother ride on this wagon buddy.”
I’m not quite ready to cave yet. The playoffs are coming up. It’ll be North vs. South in the most important games of the year. And there are some spectacular teams in the North, including the (currently) No. 1-ranked Arlington team.
The playoffs are the perfect time for the North to start rising. If Wednesday’s game is any indication, they’re going to have to if they want to beat some of the great South teams, like Lynnwood.