LYNNWOOD — Some free advice for the rest of the teams in the 3A District 1 playoffs: Playing the Meadowdale Mavericks right after they lose on a last-second shot isn’t a good idea.
All season long, in fact, it’s been a really bad idea.
The Sedro-Woolley Cubs found that out Tuesday in the tournament’s opening round.
Senior Connor Hamlett scored 28 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots as Meadowdale shut down Sedro-Woolley’s offense for much of the game on its way to a 59-33 victory Tuesday night at Meadowdale High School.
Meadowdale opened the game with a 7-0 run, thanks in part to senior Riley Neff-Warner who hit a 3-pointer and had two steals that led to scoring opportunities. Meadowdale was never seriously threatened after the opening minutes.
Meadowdale head coach Chad McGuire said he was pleased with the results — and with his team’s effort.
“I thought we came out and played hard,” said McGuire, whose team was ranked eighth in the state by The Associated Press in last week’s poll. “… We did what we needed to do.”
The win was coming off a tough loss against Glacier Peak, which defeated Meadowdale 49-47 in a district seeding game last week on a last-second shot by Tanner Southard.
That win gave Glacier Peak the No. 1 seed into districts and set up Meadowdale’s matchup against Sedro-Woolley, the No. 3 seed from the Northwest Conference.
The Mavericks defeated Glacier Peak twice earlier in the season.
“It just happened,” McGuire said of the loss. “ … Every game with them has come down to the last possession, we (got them) twice, and they (got the last one).”
Tuesday, the Mavericks responded, holding Sedro-Woolley to just four points in the second quarter, with Connor Hamlett chipping in two impressive blocks and two steals during that span.
“They took away our inside game,” Sedro-Woolley head coach Paul Bianchini said of Hamlett, a 6-foot-7 forward. “It was pretty easy with their big guy (and) it allowed the rest of their defenders to (be more aggressive). … He gets a ton of put backs. He’s always in the right place at the right time … If you take (Hamlett) out of the equation there were some places where we matched up pretty well.”
Meadowdale fans should most likely take the win with a grain of salt, as it’s been a down year for Sedro-Woolley. The Cubs entered Tuesday’s contest sporting a 1-19 record, and Bianchini said that his team’s leading scorer, Aaron Stroosma (12 points), was seeing his first extended action of the year as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
But this wasn’t the first time Meadowdale has responded to a tough loss with a blowout victory. After losing on last-second shot to Shorecrest in the beginning of February, the Mavericks demolished 4A state-ranked Jackson 79-55.
“Our guys are competitive and they want to win,” McGuire said of that fact. “… I thought we came out tonight with energy and played hard (from the start).”
The win sets up the very real possibility that Meadowdale and Glacier Peak will meet again later in the district tournament, with seeding for state on the line.
For now, Meadowdale plays Mount Vernon at 8 p.m. Thursday at Glacier Peak.
Sedro-Woolley moves into the consolation bracket and plays Lynnwood at 8 p.m. Friday at Glacier Peak.
At Meadowdale H.S.
Sedro-Woolley—Bianchini 0, Fitzgibbon 0, Wortner 2, Stewart 6, Enberg 0, Brown 0, Macchi 2, Stroosma 12, Lidgard 8, Minkel 2, Bragg 1. Meadowdale—Neff-Warner 4, Linton 3, Werner 2, Beucherie 5, Tallman 0, Gage 0, Dooley 8, Sand 3, Buck 4, Hamlett 28, Spade 2. 3-point goals—Neff-Warner 1, Linton 1, Beucherie 1, Dooley 2. Records—Sedro-Woolley 1-20 overall. Meadowdale 17-5.