EDMONDS — In last season’s matchup against Stanwood, the Edmonds-Woodway girls basketball team lost University of Washington-bound star Missy Peterson to injury in the game’s opening minute.
Forced to adjust on the fly, the Peterson-less Warriors suffered a 34-point loss to the high-powered Spartans.
But Edmonds-Woodway’s young team has grown up in the last year, and the massive strides were on full display during Wednesday night’s rematch.
The Warriors pulled in front with a 15-1 first-half run and never looked back, avenging last season’s blowout loss with a 73-67 win over visiting Stanwood in a showdown between two of Wesco 3A’s top teams.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” second-year Edmonds-Woodway coach Jon Rasmussen said of his team, which consists exclusively of sophomores and juniors. “They came to play tonight and they worked their tail off. It was a great team win.”
It was the ninth consecutive victory for the Warriors (10-1 overall, 3-0 Wesco 3A), who haven’t lost since a Dec. 4 non-league defeat to Juanita.
“We played a lot of freshmen and sophomores last year, and that experience is paying off a lot this season,” Rasmussen said. “It’s (been) a fun year.”
Junior guard Adrienne Poling and sophomore guard AJ Martineau led Edmonds-Woodway with 20 points apiece. Poling showcased a nice mix of mid-range jumpers and drives to the hoop, while Martineau expertly ran the offense and hit 14 free throws.
Brooke Kearney added 10 points and Ingrid Fosberg scored nine for the well-balanced Warriors.
“We learned, as (last) season progressed, to play without Missy,” Rasmussen said. “Our whole team was (centered around) Missy last year.
“This year, we play more as a team. I don’t have to rely on one person. You can’t shut down one person — you’ve got to shut down the whole team.”
Edmonds-Woodway attacked Stanwood’s defense with great ball movement, decisive drives to the basket and another strong shooting performance from beyond the arc. The Warriors sank eight 3-pointers, continuing their trend of pinpoint outside shooting this season.
“The neat thing about this team is everyone can shoot the 3,” Rasmussen said. “It’s a tough team to guard.”
Stanwood (6-4, 2-1) raced to a blistering start, scoring 11 points in the game’s opening two minutes en route a 17-11 first-quarter lead.
Edmonds-Woodway responded with a 15-1 run, holding the Spartans without a field goal for more than five minutes while building a 26-18 second-quarter advantage. The Warriors led 33-25 at halftime after holding Spartans senior standout Ashley Alter scoreless in the first half.
Stanwood quickly trimmed the deficit to two points in the opening minute of the third quarter, but Edmonds-Woodway pushed its lead back to double digits and stretched the margin to 58-41 early in the fourth.
However, the Spartans refused to cave. Stanwood junior Madison Chisman scored nine of her 16 points in the fourth quarter, keying a 16-4 run that sliced the deficit to 62-57 with less than three minutes to play.
But the Spartans couldn’t pull any closer, as Edmonds-Woodway sank free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
Stanwood senior forward Kaitlin Larson scored a team-high 24 points.