LYNNWOOD — On balance, not bad.
The Meadowdale Mavericks put four players in double figures and romped past the Ferndale Golden Eagles 70-47 in a first-round Class 3A Northwest District boys basketball playoff game Thursday night.
Though close in the opening minutes, the contest amounted to a virtual clinic in selflessness by the hot-shooting Mavericks.
Meadowdale (19-2 overall) is a team with the ability to flip-flop scoring threats on any given night. This time out Taylor Marsh scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the first half. Larod Lover, Jake Linton and Colin Matteson added 11 points each.
With the victory the Mavericks advanced to a district semifinal game Saturday at Mount Vernon High School against Bellingham, a 71-47 victor over Sehome Thursday.
Ferndale (9-12) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 30 seconds, but the visitors advantage was short-lived.
A pair of 3-pointers by Linton, followed by Lover’s steal and driving layin gave the Golden Eagles a quick preview of what was to come.
By the time the first half had ended the Mavericks had buried 7 of 8 attempts from beyond the 3-point line and seized command, 42-26.
"I was yelling, get the ball inside and they wanted to shoot threes," Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire said with a laugh. "We were in a rhythm in that first half."
To illustrate the bedeviling nature of the Maverick attack consider the multitude of ways they hurt opponents.
Linton and Matteson combined for 15 points in the first quarter as the Mavericks built a nine-point lead.
Neither scored in the second quarter, but the lead was extended to as much as 17 points, due chiefly to the antics of Lover and Marsh.
When Kellen Sasken’s basket got Ferndale to within 29-22 midway through the second quarter, the Maverick pair combined to score 10 straight points.
First, Lover and Marsh hit back-to-back 3-pointers. They followed with back-to-back driving layins.
"I think we play our best basketball when five or six guys are scoring," McGuire said.
In addition to his 11 points, Lover sparked Meadowdale with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
"Larod does a little bit of everything for us," McGuire said. "He’ll do anything it takes to win and just makes us go."
Meadowdale enjoyed important contributions off the bench from Daniel Stabbert and Kevin Myhre.
Stabbert’s had an authoritative dunk at the end of the third quarter and then putback his own miss in the opening minute of the final period to give the Mavericks their biggest lead at 59-35.
Stabbert finished with eight points and could have likely had more if not for his affinity for fine passing to teammates. Stabbert, 6-foot-8, also rejected three Ferndale shots in the second half.
"He’s a great shot blocker with great timing," McGuire said. "He can score and pass as well."
"We like that if anyone gets beat, this long, tall guy comes out of nowhere," Lover said of Stabbert.
Myhre scored six points in the first half and had four rebounds.
"Kevin’s done that all year," McGuire said. "He can score, rebound, hustles on defense and just gave us a nice lift off the bench."
Meadowdale shot a sizzling 27 of 45 (60 percent) from the field in the game and was a solid 8-for-10 at the foul line.
"This was a great way to start the playoffs," Lover said. "I’m proud of all of my teammates."
Ferndale, which battled its way into the district playoffs with a come-from-behind victory over Anacortes in its final regular season game, was led by Eddie Gallagher with 13 points and nine rebounds. Jake Locker added nine points.
Ferndale—Locker 9, Paulson 4, Wilgus 2, Lane 7, Dahl 4, Gallagher 13, Sasken 5, Walton 3. Meadowdale—Lover 11, McGinnis 2, Huffman 2, Marsh 12, Linton 11, Myhre 6, Bahta 3, Faison 2, Stabbert 8, Matteson 11, Hagen 2. 3-point goals—Locker 2, Lane 1, Sasken 1, Lover 1, Marsh 2, Linton 3, Myhre 1, Bahta 1. Records—Ferndale 9-12. Meadowdale 19-2.