MARYSVILLE — The Edmonds-Woodway girls basketball team’s season has been in a state of flux ever since Jan. 4, when its star player, senior point guard Missy Peterson, left the Warriors’ game against Stanwood early in the first quarter with a left foot injury.
Peterson was in and out of the lineup for the next several games, but she hasn’t played meaningful minutes since the team’s Jan. 13 game against Snohomish.
For Wednesday’s regular-season finale at Marysville Getchell, she sported a walking boot and crutches. She’s scheduled to have surgery Thursday to insert a screw into her foot, and her season is over, according to Edmonds-Woodway coach Jon Rasmussen.
There’s no doubt that losing Peterson is a big blow for the Warriors. But Edmonds-Woodway is out to prove that it can win big games without her — like Wednesday’s contest, which it won 53-48.
“It’s obviously hard to lose her, but everyone has stepped up,” said Warriors forward Adrienne Poling, who had 16 points Wednesday. “We got some help from the (junior varsity team) to fill in at the point guard position. (Playing without Peterson) wasn’t intimidating, but we had to get used to it. Once we got hold of it, we were able to put up some big wins. And Missy has been great supporting us from the bench.”
With Peterson, a Long Beach State University signee, sidelined, some of the other Edmonds-Woodway players, including senior forward Kendra Cooper and Poling, have assumed larger roles in the team’s offense.
“It’s a big letdown, but (her absence) has allowed some younger kids to develop, and that will help us in the long run,” Rasmussen said. “That being said, I’d do anything to have her back.”
The Warriors (14-6, 8-4 Wesco 3A) will take the sixth seed into the upcoming 3A District 1 tournament. They’ll play Shorewood on Friday in a first-round game.
“We beat Shorewood with Missy, and now we’ll see if we can beat them without her,” Rasmussen said. “We’ve changed directions, and gotten a lot younger. We have to shoot well; we live and die by the 3-pointer. (In the playoffs), anything can happen.”
Marysville Getchell concluded the most successful regular season in the history of the program, posting a 12-8 overall record (7-5 Wesco 3A).
The Chargers finished in seventh place in the conference and will open district tournament play against Snohomish on Friday.
Marysville Getchell, which began play in 2011-12, won just five Wesco games combined in its first four years of existence. Last season the Chargers posted their first non-losing season, going 11-11, and they advanced to postseason play for the first time, losing two 3A District 1 tournament contests.
Their improvement continued this season.
“We’re starting to get some really good athletes, and I think it takes five years to really get a program going,” said Marysville Getchell coach Shannon Grandbois. “The seniors set a standard of winning. We beat Arlington and we beat Stanwood. We went up to Alaska and won a tournament. We’ve done some major things this year that this program has never done, and that’s due to the hard work of these girls.”
The Chargers won six straight games in December and five in a row in January. Their signature win came Jan. 18, when they beat state-ranked Stanwood with a basket at the final buzzer.
A week later, Marysville Getchell clinched its first winning season in program history with a win over Oak Harbor.
“It’s a belief,” Grandbois said. “Before we were seen as an educational school. Now we’re being seen as an athletic school. It’s kind of a weird district with no boundaries, but we’re starting to see a swing — more athletes are choosing Getchell.”
The Chargers’ players and coaches will surely reflect on their accomplishments after the season is over. But for now, they’re focusing on another milepost: earning the first postseason win in the history of the program.
“That would be huge,” Grandbois said. “We’re looking for a win to extend our season for our seniors. These girls believe in each other.”