By Jon Saperstein For The Weekly Herald
LYNNWOOD — For some people Friday the 13th is unlucky. For others it’s just another day. Entering Friday night’s girls basketball game with Everett, Meadowdale’s Margreet Barhoum had a good feeling about this one.
“I knew it was going to be unlucky for them, not us,” Barhoum joked.
Barhoum was right as Meadowdale coasted to a 68-46 home victory.
Though to attribute the win to luck would be a disservice to Barhoum, who led all scorers with 23 points, and her teammates, who played their most complete game of the season to even Meadowdale’s Wesco 3A record at 5-5. Everett dropped to 6-4.
“This has been a long time coming for us,” said Meadowdale coach Troy Parker, whose team earned its first win against a team in the top half of the league standings. “We needed to come out and play well against a quality opponent.”
Though in the recent past they haven’t qualified as a quality opponent, the Seagulls have certainly earned that distinction this year, running out to a great start to the season. Everett handed co-league leader Shorecrest its first loss of the year Jan. 4 and defeated Meadowdale 60-58 in the teams’ first meeting Dec. 9.
“Last game we played Everett, it was a heartbreaker,” Barhoum said.
The Mavs looked like they carried that emotion into a high-energy first quarter. Meadowdale came out from the opening tip with stifling, in-your-face, full-court pressure.
It took the Seagulls, who have often earned their Wesco 3A wins with their own version of pressure D, most of the first quarter to adjust and protect the ball from the furious limbs of the Mavs.
“That’s kind of what we feed off is each other’s energy and that really helped us in the first quarter,” Barhoum said.
Meadowdale jumped out to a 9-0 edge before Sidney Rielly hit a 3-pointer at the 5-minute, 46-second mark in the first to break the lid off the Everett basket. Rielly led the Seagulls with a quiet 19 points.
Barhoum scored 11 of her team’s first 20 points as the Mavs built a 20-3 edge with just inside three minutes to go in the first quarter.
Everett didn’t get its second field goal until Aliya Davis opened the second quarter with a deep trey to make the score 20-7. Davis hit three 3s and was second on Everett with nine points off the bench.
Barhoum, who is by far her team’s top scorer, averaging more than 18 points per game, went to the bench in the second quarter and Everett went on a 7-0 run to pull to within 24-15, but fellow senior Alisa Sagdahl scored back-to-back buckets for Meadowdale and Everett never got within double digits again.
Everett was without its fourth-leading scorer and starting forward Calea Carr, who had suffered an arm injury. Though she was certainly missed, her absence was not the difference on this night.
“We just didn’t do the things we needed to do,” Everett coach John Low said.
The Seagull coach hopes his young team learns that it can’t take any nights off to really compete at a high level in such a tough league.
“I hope what we take out of this is five girls playing as a team are better than the individual pieces,” Low said.
For Meadowdale that was the difference; though Barhoum’s speed and the press earned the lead, the rest of the Mavs stepped up and hit big shots.
Parker was especially impressed with sophomore Mackenzie Bretz, who was second on the team with 12 points. Sagdahl played solid in the post converting twice with layins when Barhoum was covered. She notched eight points on the night.
“I love our girls, and it’s really nice to see them rewarded,” Parker said. “This is going to launch us.”
Meadowdale has been a traditional power and Barhoum eventually sees her team toward the top of the league again after an uncharacteristically slow start to the season.
“All of our goals that we want, we can still have them,” Barhoum said. “We can still go to state and do everything that we want to do and win in February and March.”