By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
Meadowdale is heading into the district playoffs on a definite upswing.
The Mavericks had what head coach Troy Parker described as probably the team’s best performance in a 62-38 victory over Shorecrest in a Western Conference 3A girls basketball game Jan. 27 at Meadowdale High School.
Senior Margreet Barhoum scored a season-high 32 points to lead Meadowdale (8-6 in the league, 9-9 overall), which is assured of a berth to the district tournament.
“Playing a really good Shorecrest team and winning was huge for our confidence,” Parker said. “I think it puts us in a position to get on a roll going into the district playoffs.”
The Mavericks finished the week a game back from Everett (9-5, 12-6) for the No. 4 seed.
While Barhoum’s dazzling numbers were important, what enabled her to score 32 points was the solid early play of her teammates.
“We had other kids early make some shots that have been a challenge for us,” Parker said. “Other girls making some shots really established the tone.”
Meadowdale’s Juilanne Kossin scored 11 points.
The Scots in recent games have had an edge in rebounding. Friday night Meadowdale hit the boards hard.
“Early on we rebounded and made some shots,” Parker said. “We have to rebound as a team because we’re so short. I really can’t point out anybody. For the most part all five of our girls rebounded.
Meadowdale jumped to a 14-7 lead after the first quarter and extended the advantage to 31-20 at halftime.
“We came out and three different girls hit 3-point shots,” Parker said. “Before the game we talked about establishing a rebounding tone. I thought we did that. We were pretty good on the defensive boards.”
The Scots were missing senior center India Matheson.
“She’s a huge component for them,” Parker said. “But I thought we did our job.”
Meadowdale started the week with a 36-34 loss to crosstown rival Lynnwood but rebounded with a 48-33 victory over Oak Harbor. Barhoum scored 18 points against the Wildcats.
The Mavericks need to have other players step up and score to take some of the attention away from Barhoum.
“We don’t have one particular shooter who needs to get it done,” Parker said. “When we can get some consistent scoring, teams have a harder time of really focusing on Margreet.”
In the Shorecrest game, Barhoum scored about 14 consecutive points during the fourth quarter.
“She had room to navigate,” Parker said. “We were ahead by 10 or 11 points … we had balanced scoring before that. As we go forward a key part of how we’re going to be successful is are we going to rebound the basketball and consistently get balanced scoring? That’ll give us our best chance to be successful.”
Meadowdale’s slow start means the Mavericks won’t have much of an advantage in terms of seeding at the district tournament. That makes the final week of the regular season even more crucial.
“We need to keep playing well,” Parker said. “I think we can compete against the teams in districts. It’s a good competitive league.”