EVERETT — The deck appeared stacked against the Marysville Pilchuck girls basketball team on Thursday night.
After not playing a true home game since the end of last season, the Everett girls were back at home for the opening of their new gym and the Seagull faithful packed the stands for the first game. To top that off the Seagulls were honoring their four seniors in the final home game of the season.
It seemed like a lot for the Tomahawks to overcome.
Maybe that’s what made their 74-64 double overtime victory so special.
“It feels so amazing,” Marysville Pilchuck senior forward Jenika Anglim said. “We really worked hard as a team and meshed well and supported each other and built each other up.”
Anglim finished with a game-high 34 points to help spoil the Seagulls’ big night.
“Jenika in the last five games have come out of her shell,” Marysville Pilchuck head coach Julie Martin said. “She’s just completely stepped up for this team on all accounts, defensively and offensively.”
Martin said the victory is a good building block for her team heading into the district tournament.
“It’s something that we’ve struggled with all season, just sticking it out in the end,” Martin said. “They’re fighters and they have so much heart in them and they haven’t yet overcome. That’s the first night that I’ve seen them push all the way through and know that they could win.”
The Tomahawks built a double digit lead in the first half before closing the gap in the third quarter thanks in large part to Sydney Taggart. The sophomore scored 12 of her 16 points in the quarter to help the Seagulls turn a 12-point halftime deficit into a three-point lead after the third quarter.
The Tomahawks rallied to forced overtime and in the overtime sessions foul trouble hurt the Seagulls. Leading scorer Sidney Rielly fouled our early in the first overtime and by the time the game ended Everett was down to just five players that hadn’t been disqualified for fouls.
After splitting practice time between North Middle School and Everett Community College and playing all of their games at EvCC, senior Tenika Wentworth was just happy to be back home.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” she said. “I was really excited to play on it. It’s been long enough. We’ve been waiting for a year. It’s just exciting to finally play on it.
Thursday’s game was one of just two that Wentworth and her three senior teammates will play on the teams new floor. Everett will host a district playoff game next week before the tournament moves to a neutral site.
For players like Taggart and junior Darian Rielly, this was just the beginning of many games to come at the new “Pit.”
“I loved it,” Rielly said. “I think it’s the coolest gym I’ve played in anywhere. The court feels great. It was a little rough our first night in it – we didn’t shoot that great. I think it feels just like an Everett gym. The crowd really helps us out.”
Even the opposing coach commented on the Seagulls new digs after the game.
“I love it,” Martin said. “I love the multiple gyms that they have here. It’s a great place to play. The atmosphere is unreal. I love how they are on the top of us and yelling. It kind of felt like you’re at home a little bit.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Everett H.S.
Marysville Pilchuck 18 13 6 13 8 16 — 74
Everett 11 8 21 10 8 6— 64
Marysville Pilchuck–Charlee Pilon 7, Amanda Klep 11, Megan Owens 1, Halie Romo 0, Jenika Anglim 34, Jordan Bengen 12, Marley Reynolds 3, Binta Bojang 4. Everett–Megan Dedrick 0, Caroline Overstreet 2, Sydney Taggart 16, Darian Rielly 12, Sidney Rielly 14, Tenika Wentworth 11, Julie Ramirez 2, Amber Hagar 0, Katy Hedington 2. 3-point goals–Anglim 2, Pilon 1, D. Rielly 1, Wentworth 2. Records–Marysville Pilchuck 5-8 league, 8-12 overall. Everett 8-5, 12-8.