LYNNWOOD — Minutes before the opening tip-off Meadowdale’s Evan Matteson was already pumping his fists and showing off his formidable hops.
“Last home game, last home game,” the 6-foot-9 senior post exhorted his teammates and coaches.
Matteson and the senior-laden Mavericks made it a memorable home finale as Meadowdale rolled to a 53-31 victory over the Everett Seagulls in a 3A District 1 playoff game Tuesday night.
“Evan and all our seniors were inspired,” said Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire, whose team will take its six-game winning streak and lofty 19-3 record into a Thursday night game at Arlington High School against Mount Vernon (16-5), which edged Lynnwood 54-52 Tuesday night on a tip-in at the buzzer.
Everett (4-18) plays Lynnwood (10-12) in a loser-out game Friday, also at Arlington High School.
“Our seniors wanted to win and go out in style and I think they did that,” said McGuire.
“We’re really coming together now,” said Matteson whose team has rattled off six straight double-digit wins. “We’re ready to make it to state and win it.”
Matteson was the chief catalyst against Everett. He led his team with 12 points, but more importantly, used his athleticism and wing-span to swat away five shots and alter countless others.
“(Matteson) did a nice job blocking shots, rebounding and passing,” McGuire said.
“Our strength all year has been Flynn (Mattson) and Rendel (Jones) inside, but (Matteson) changes shots or he blocks shots,” Everett coach Aaron Nations said. “He made our guards very wary of throwing the ball inside.”
Even without leading scorer Matt Gorman — who missed the contest while serving a one-game suspension after being ejected during Meadowdale’s victory over Arlington last Thursday — the Mavericks seized command early against Everett, grabbing a 21-9 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The quick advantage was spurred by Teagan Dooley and Paul Werner, who each scored seven points in the period.
“(Dooley) gives us great energy and gets everybody involved,” McGuire said. “Both of those guys fed off each other and it was fun to watch.”
Meadowdale’s early lead was punctuated by Roger O’Neill’s mid-court steal and lay-in that put the Mavericks up 8-2 with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Seagull’s crept within 11-7 on an inside bucket by Jones with 3:15 to play in the period.
Meadowdale answered with a 10-0 run. Dooley got it going with a sharp assist to Werner crossing the lane.
Then, O’Neill (seven points) and Werner (10 points) buried back-to-back 3-pointers before Dooley (10 points) dropped in a baseline runner as the Mavericks opened a 14-point lead.
Everett cut the gap to 21-13 on a basket by Mattson (14 points) with 6:15 to play in the second quarter.
Again, Meadowdale responded. Matteson converted a conventional 3-point play, started on a nice pass from Sam Werner. Mike Beeson wrested in a tough put-back on his own miss and then when Matteson missed a long 3-pointer, Beeson leapt high for another put-back and the lead ballooned to 15.
Everett managed to cut the deficit to 31-21 by halftime, aided by a 3-pointer by Michael Murray and four late points by Mattson.
“Turnovers hurt us early,” Nations said. “But I thought we played a great second quarter.”
Whatever hopes the Seagulls’ harbored of a comeback were dashed on the rocks after Matteson scored seven points and blocked two shots to spur a 14-2 Meadowdale onslaught in the third quarter.
“We came out just not ready to go (in the third quarter) and that surprised me,” Nations said. “I thought the kids would stay focused.”
By the time the fourth quarter rolled around Everett was facing a 22-point deficit.
After Matteson — the last remaining Meadowdale starter on the floor — went to the bench with just over five minutes to play the Mavericks lead grew to as many as 27 points, thanks to seven fourth-quarter points by Connor Hamlett.
“He was relentless on the boards and made some nice moves in there,” McGuire said of the 6-foot-6 sophomore.
“It’s great to have everyone so involved in the game,” Matteson said. “We rely on our bench to bring a lot of energy for us.”
At Meadowdale H.S.
Everett — Brown 6, Murray 3, Jones 4, Mattson 14, Hennings 2, Grindstaff 2, Gunnerson, Grim, Nguyen, Frauenholtz, Daly, Homer. Meadowdale — O’Neill 7, Clampitt 2, P. Werner 10, Church 1, Dooley 10, Beeson 4, Hamlett 7, Matteson 12, Nelson, S. Werner, Epstein. 3-point goals — Brown 2, Murray 1, O’Neill 1, P. Werner 1, Dooley 1. Records — Everett 4-18, Meadowdale 19-3.