EDMONDS – To the casual observer this one might have felt a little like waiting and waiting for the griddle to sizzle so as to ladle on your pancake batter.
Things never did get cooking, but the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors used a tried and true recipe – hard-nosed defense – to shut down the Meadowdale Mavericks 39-22 in a Wesco South boys basketball game Saturday night.
With their seventh straight triumph, the Warriors – who played without starting forward Eric Greenwood who is on a football recruiting visit to UNLV this weekend – improved to 6-1 in the division and 9-2 overall.
Meadowdale (5-3, 8-4) saw its four-game win streak come to a halt.
“Strong play on the defensive end is what we do,” E-W coach Gail Pintler said. “I’d like to think we can score and one of these days we’re gonna do that too.”
The Mavericks, who were led by Milan Moncrief’s 11 points and six rebounds, contended with a Warriors’ hand in their face for most of the night and even rare, open looks at the basket went awry as they endured a 7-for-30 effort from the field. Meadowdale made one 3-pointer in eight attempts.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well, but their defense had a lot to do with that,” Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire said. “They contested every shot.”
“Kids are resilient and we’ll bounce back,” McGuire added. “It’s only one game.”
The Warriors led by six points after the first half, enjoyed a 27-18 advantage by the end of the third quarter and in the final period capitalized on the inevitable parade to the free-throw line to pull away.
“We’re not gonna go out and score 80 points,” said E-W’s Casey Hamlett (seven points, six rebounds). “But, when we hold a team with a guy like Milan (Moncrief) to 22 points we’re probably gonna win.
“We just go to work on the boards and beat you up,” Hamlett added. “That’s what we do in practice and that’s what we do in games.”
Hamlett’s front-court mate, Connor Donaldson (eight rebounds), echoed that.
“Our coaches said the paint is ours to own,” Donaldson said. “I think we did a pretty good job.”
E-W wasn’t exactly on fire offensively, but a 13-for-34 effort from the floor, coupled with 7-for-8 free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter was enough.
Warriors’ guard James Conti – who had a game-high 14 points – picked up his own missed shot off the floor and banked in a bucket in the paint to make the score 24-14 early in third quarter.
Meadowdale’s Nero Threet elevated in the lane and made a jumper to cut the gap to eight. Threet then sank a pair of free throws to make the score 24-18 with 3:01 remaining in the period.
But, E-W’s Hamlett – who made all seven of his points in the third quarter – closed the period by splitting a pair of free throws and then shoveling in a left-handed bank shot to put the Warriors in command 27-18 heading into the final eight minutes.
In the first quarter, E-W’s Conti buried a 3-pointer and converted a conventional three-point play to spark the Warriors to a 10-8 lead.
In the opening minutes of the second quarter, the Warriors’ Antoinne Wafer came off the bench and knocked down a pair of very deep 3-pointers.
After a Maverick miss, Wafer seized the defensive rebound and very nearly drove the length of the court before delivering a crisp pass to Conti, who banked in a lay-in to provide E-W with an 18-10 advantage.
Late in the second quarter Meadowdale broke out of a five-minute scoring drought when Moncrief made a nifty baseline runner to bring the Mavericks back to within 18-12 at the break.
At Edmonds-Woodway H.S.
Meadowdale-O’Neill 4, Moncrief 11, Gorman 2, Threet 4, Law 1. Edmonds-Woodway-Ortiz 3, McCartney 4, Wafer 6, Conti 14, Laue 1, Hamlett 7, Donaldson 4. 3-point goals-Moncrief 1, Wafer 2, Conti 1. JV result-Meadowdale def. E-W.