Warning bell rings for Meadowdale boys basketball team

There’s no better wakeup call than opening the season with a kick in the rear.

The Meadowdale boys basketball team – ranked eighth in the WashingtonPreps.com Class 3A preseason poll – got such a kick on Dec. 6. The Mavericks lost 47-42 to a middle-of-the-road Squalicum team, causing some to wonder if the magic was gone from last year’s team that made it to the state semifinals.

“That Squalicum loss opened our eyes,” junior point guard Jake Linton said. “We realized we had to put in some good practices and that it would show up on the court.”

With some shrinking of heads that might have gotten a little big and the addition of chips to their shoulders, the Mavericks responded from the loss with two major Western Conference South Division victories last week. Meadowdale knocked off two of the conference’s three 2002-03 state playoff teams to show that the preseason hype may not have been too far from the truth.

Larod Lover scored his team’s final six points – including a game-winning drive to the hoop – against Mountlake Terrace on Tuesday. Linton was the hero on Friday, sinking five of his team’s 10 3-point baskets against Mariner.

Danny Hagen, a 6-foot-6 transfer from La Conner was steady in both games, scoring 11 points in each.

“The first game of the year, we came out and had some jitters,” Hagen said. “We didn’t play very well. We weren’t very focused.”

A few hard practices made the picture clearer.

Twelve more seconds: Friday’s boys basketball game between Mariner and Meadowdale was delayed by nearly 10 minutes while officials attempted to sort out the number of fouls charged to Mariner brothers Jerod and Jerrel Grant. Jerrel, a 5-foot-10 freshman, picked up his fourth of the allotted five fouls with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter. Jerod, a 5-foot-6 senior, was called for a foul with 3:20 remaining in the quarter, and Meadowdale’s official scorekeeper notified referees that it was his fifth foul. The discussion became animated when Mariner coach Dexter Griffin began yelling at the officials, attempting to point out that there were two Grants on his team, which was trailing 43-27. It was eventually decided that Jerod had only four fouls. After the game was restarted, the bickering quickly became moot. Jerod picked up his fifth foul with 3:08 remaining – only 12 seconds of game clock after picking up his fourth.

King’s Scholastic Cup: King’s currently leads the Class A Scholastic Cup standings, just ahead of second-place Archbishop Murphy. Teams are awarded points based on academics, athletic performance and sportsmanship throughout the entire school year. South Whidbey is fifth among 2A schools.

Ones to watch: Three local girls basketball players are considered to be among the state’s top 11 recruits for the class of 2005, according to HoopGurlz.com. Another three make the top 10 list for the class of 2006.

Monroe’s Kirsten Thompson (6-foot-6 center), which HoopGurlz labeled “the best Washington big girl in years” makes the 2005 list along with Oak Harbor’s Heidi McNeill (6-3, center) and Meadowdale’s Ashley Fenimore (5-7, point guard). Sophomores Danielle Greaby of Mariner (6-0, point guard), Meadowdale’s Caitlyn Rohrbach (5-10 wing) and Arlington’s Randi Richardson (5-6 guard) are considered tops among the class of 2006.

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