Lynnwood’s Jordyn Edwards attempts to steal from Prairie’s Grace Prom during a 3A state playoff game in Tacoma on Thursday.

Lynnwood’s Jordyn Edwards attempts to steal from Prairie’s Grace Prom during a 3A state playoff game in Tacoma on Thursday.

Lynnwood girls hold off Prairie to set up clash with Bellevue in 3A semifinals

TACOMA — It might be a day early but it’s finally time.

All season long Lynnwood and Bellevue have battled each other to be at the top of the Associated Press poll — as well as jockeying for position in national polls. Friday night, the teams finally get to battle on the court.

In a game many expected to be Saturday night’s state championship, Bellevue and Lynnwood will meet in the semifinals after the Royals defeated Prairie 46-37 Thursday night in a 3A state quarterfinal matchup at the Tacoma Dome.

Because of the way the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association draw worked out, Lynnwood will meet the Wolverines, who defeated Mt. Spokane 62-53 in another quarterfinal contest, in the semifinals at 7:15 p.m. Friday night at the Tacoma Dome, instead of the championship on Saturday evening.

“We were hoping for it to be the state championship, but it is what it is,” said Lynnwood senior Mikayla Pivec. “It came out in the draw so we’ll see them tomorrow. They’re a very good team. They’ve got a couple of really good point guards in Anna (Wilson) and Quinessa (Caylao-Do) and they’ve also got some really good inside threats.”

Lynnwood (25-0) is ranked No. 11 nationally in the Computer Rankings, three spots ahead of Bellevue (27-0). However, the Wolverines are in front of Lynnwood in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 — with Bellevue currently ranked No. 13 and Lynnwood No. 15.

The teams have both spent time atop the Washington Associated Press 3A poll, with the Royals finishing at No. 1 — just ahead of Bellevue.

The two teams met in the semifinals last year, with Lynnwood topping the Wolverines 63-37 on its way to a state championship. The Royals return most of their team as does Bellevue — which also added senior Quinessa Caylao-Do from Todd Beamer and guard Anna Wilson, the sister of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and a Stanford commit, who transferred to Bellevue when she moved to Washington.

“They’re very different,” Pivec said. “They have one kid from Todd Beamer, Q, and then Anna — two new players to a team that pretty much carried over (everyone from last year).”

“We’re excited,” said Lynnwood head coach Everett Edwards. “We played them last year and we’re excited to play them this year. They have some additions to their team, they’ve got great coaching and we’re excited for the game.”

After the Wolverines’ victory over Mt. Spokane, Bellevue head coach Leah Krautter said her team wanted another chance at the Royals.

“Absolutely. … We (want) the opportunity to go and get a little bit of vengeance,” Krautter said. “Lynnwood is, obviously, one of the favorites. They gave us a really tough game last year. They’ve got some really great players. They like to play fast and we like to play fast. It’s going to be a fun little track meet.”

Lynnwood struggled a bit in the first half of its quarterfinal game against the Falcons. Prairie, which finished No. 9 in the Associated Press 3A poll, battled with the Royals, trailing just 22-20 at halftime.

In the third quarter Lynnwood’s offense started to find some consistency. The Royals outscored Prairie 15-3 in the period and held on late after back-to-back 3-pointers got the Falcons to within seven.

“We take a lot of pride in our third quarter — that’s probably our biggest one,” Edwards said. “That’s when we have a chance to make whatever adjustments — or just to keep doing the same thing. … I felt like we were playing good enough defense to win the game but we were struggling to score points. We needed that third quarter to get a little bit of separation.”

Pivec led the Royals with 15 points and 20 rebounds. Fellow senior Jordyn Edwards added 15 points for the Royals.

“I think our seniors kind of led us tonight,” Everett Edwards said. “It was a dogfight of a game. It was a physical game. I know Mik had 20 rebounds — that’s just exceptional. I think Jordyn did a great job, defensively, of flying all over the place. Mik did a great job on the boards. I think Reilly Walsh kind of held it all together for us a little bit. We just had several kids step up and make great plays.”

The game wasn’t the closest of the season for Lynnwood, but it was a rare contest that went down to the wire for the Royals.

“I’m glad we won the game,” Edwards said. “We could have won by one point and I’d be ecstatic. It doesn’t matter at this time of the year because this is a game that, if things had not gone our way, we could have lost. Whether we win by 20 points or one point, it really doesn’t matter to me.”

Now, Lynnwood hopes to carry its momentum into a highly anticipated showdown with Bellevue on Friday night.

Like the Prairie win, Edwards doesn’t much care how many points Lynnwood wins by against the Wolverines.

He just hopes to be on top at the end.

“They’re a lot bigger than us,” Edwards said. “They have a lot of size inside, they’re quick, they have shooters — they’re just a very good team. It’s going to be an uphill battle for us, especially considering the dogfight we had (Thursday). But we’re excited to take on that challenge and may the best team win.”

At Tacoma Dome

Prairie 8 12 3 14 —37

Lynnwood 8 14 15 9 —46

Prairie—Cassidy Gardner 3, Kris Rocci 0, Jozie Tangerman 6, Mallory Williams 5, Grace Prom 9, Malaika Quigley 0, Macey Hsu 6, Charita Daugherty 3, Natalie Whitesel 5. Lynnwood—Abby Yemane 0, Reilly Walsh 6, Rachel Walsh 0, Jordyn Edwards 15, Mikayla Pivec 15, Kelsey Rogers 6, Kaprice Boston 3, Taylor Fahey 1. Records—Prairie 21-5 overall. Lynnwood 25-0.

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