Meadowdale hangs on, moves to semifinal

SEATTLE – During his unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign, John Kerry was aggressively criticized for being a flip-flopper.

It seems that Kerry and the Meadowdale girls basketball team have something in common.

After stating its case as a supremely talented team in the first half, Meadowdale scrambled to maintain control. Despite being outscored 41-29 over the last two quarters, the Mavericks held off Hudson’s Bay for a 69-59 victory Thursday in a quarterfinal game in the Class 3A state tournament at KeyArena.

Unbeaten Meadowdale (26-0) has a habit of letting opponents hang around for a while before pulling away, Mavericks senior Marelle Moehrle said. But the normal pattern reversed against Hudson’s Bay of Vancouver (20-7).

“It almost kind of flip-flopped (Thursday),” said Moehrle, who scored 11 of her team-high 15 points in the first half for Meadowdale, which led by as many as 24 points. “We came out really hard and were up, and we let them come back.”

Early on, Meadowdale seemed on its way to a romp. It opened the game with 11 straight points and led 21-2 with 6:44 to go in the first half. Things went so well for Meadowdale that Mavs coach Dan Taylor sat four of his starters for a significant span at the start of the second quarter.

But in the third quarter Hudson’s Bay used a pesky full-court press and hot outside shooting to cut the deficit to nine points. Guards Jazmine Foreman and Amber Sylvester scored 30 of their 46 total points in the second half.

Meadowdale survived, but it hopes to figure out how to play a complete game.

“We just have to continue playing strong from the beginning to the end, especially (today) because in that game we can’t let up at all.”

Meadowdale plays Auburn Riverside (25-2) in the semifinals at 4 p.m. today at Bank of America Arena. Auburn Riverside is a fast, pressing squad, headlined by Arizona State University recruit Stephanie Wilber.

“It’s time for everything to just jell as one,” said Moehrle, who made three 3-point baskets, was 5-for-11 from the field and grabbed six rebounds.

Guards Hanna Fjortoft (14 points) and Eryn Jones (12 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals), and center Cassie Kosmides (10 points, seven rebounds) all scored in double figures for Meadowdale.

The Mavs committed six of their 19 turnovers in the third quarter, when Hudson’s Bay quickly trimmed a 24-point deficit to nine. Coach Taylor said his team must make some adjustments in order to handle the defensive press of Auburn Riverside.

Taylor got all 12 players into the game Thursday, achieving his goal of keeping his players fresh for the semifinals. “Because,” Taylor said, “we know we’re gonna be running a lot (today).”

After missing its first nine shots from the field and scoring just two first-quarter points, Hudson’s Bay finally got something going. The Eagles scored 16 points in the second quarter but still trailed by 22 (40-18) at halftime.

“I know we can compete with Meadowdale, but you don’t spot Meadowdale a 20-point lead and expect to win,” said Hudson’s Bay coach Art Rojas, whose team is making its inaugural state tourney appearance.

For the second straight game, Hudson’s Bay quickly fell behind by double digits.

“I think we’ve been struggling with the moment of being here,” Rojas said. “They’ve never been to state before in the history of the school.”

Meadowdale shot poorly from the field in the first round but bounced back with strong 27-for-47 effort (57.4 percent). It also dominated the glass, tallying 38 rebounds, 15 more than Hudson’s Bay.

“I’m pleased,” Taylor said. “I can’t complain. … We got a win.”

At KeyArena

Hudson’s Bay2162219-59


Hudson’s Bay-Sylvester 18, Szuck 2, Albright 2, Johnson 5, Foreman 28, Jackson 4. Meadowdale-Coronacion 6, J. Fjortoft 2, Jones 12, Moehrle 15, H. Fjortoft 14, Molitor 6, Streit 2, Nugent 2, Kosmides 10. 3-point goals-Sylvester 4, Johnson 1, Foreman 4, Coronacion 1, Jones 2, Moehrle 3, H. Fjortoft 2. Records-Hudson’s Bay 20-7 overall. Meadowdale 26-0.

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