ARLINGTON – Faced with waking up today with their season over, the players on Meadowdale boys basketball team dug down and scratched out a win.
In a game much closer than the final score indicated, seniors Milan Moncrief and Nero Threet III led the Mavericks to 62-49 victory over the Arlington Eagles in a loser-out Class 3A District 1 playoff game Tuesday night at Arlington High School.
“When you get in the district playoffs, especially loser-out games, both teams are fighting for their lives,” Meadowdale head coach Chad McGuire said. “And you saw that tonight. You know, both teams wanted to practice (today), and it was a battle.”
The Mavericks (16-8 overall) continue their quest to advance to the state tournament through the consolation bracket by playing Everett, a 37-24 winner over Shorecrest, in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Thursday at Arlington High School.
Through three quarters, Tuesday’s contest had the look of an overtime game in the making, with the Mavericks taking the largest lead either team managed, five points, on Threet’s turnaround layin in the closing seconds of the third period.
After the Eagles’ Taylor Martin cut the gap to three points, Moncrief took a feed from sophomore Roger O’Neill and slammed home an alley-oop dunk in the first minute of the final period to put Meadowdale ahead 43-38 and ignite an 11-4 run that sealed the win.
“We made a little run at the end of the third, and it carried over to beginning of the fourth,” McGuire said. “I really thought Milan’s dunk energized us and carried us through.”
Moncrief and Matt Gorman each made a pair of free throws to push Meadowdale’s lead to 12 points before Cole Carpenter’s 3-pointer with just under a minute to play cut Meadowdale’s lead to 54-45.
The Mavericks sealed the victory at the foul line, going 6-for-10 down the stretch.
“We realized at halftime it was win or go home,” O’Neill said. “If we lost, we’d have no practice (today) so we got fired up.”
Moncrief finished with a game-high 19 points for the Mavs, Threet added 17 and Gorman had 16.
” (Arlington) made things difficult for us,” McGuire said. ” (The Eagles) had a good gameplan, so they were able to keep it close. I thought we did a nice job just grinding it out for a while.”
Carpenter had 16 points to lead the Eagles (7-18).
The teams traded the lead throughout the first half, with the steady, clock-eating passing of Arlington countered by a couple of highlight-reel plays from Meadowdale.
Moncrief’s first alley-oop of the night, a one-hand layin in the second quarter, came off a cross-court feed from Paul Werner. Threet closed the Mavericks’ scoring in the first quarter with an exclamation point, stealing the ball at mid-court and taking it in for a one-handed dunk to cut the Eagles’ lead to 12-11.
At Arlington H.S.
Arlington-Hawkins 4, Bourasaw 12, Martin 2, Disotell 7, Gray 2, Carpenter 16, Busby 6. Meadowdale-Clampitt 2, Moncrief 19, Gorman 16, Dooley 6, Threet 17, Beeson 2. 3-point goals-Busby 1, Carpenter 2. Records-Arlington 7-18 overall. Meadowdale 16-8.
Everett 37, Shorecrest 24: At Arlington, sophomore Flynn Mattson led Everett with 12 points and senior David Safstrom added eight in a loser-out Class 3A District 1 playoff game.
At Arlington H.S.
Shorecrest-Zuyev 17, Kanuch 4, Bean 1, Jochin 2. Everett-J. Mattson 6, F. Mattson 12, Safstrom 8, Homer 3, Anderson 4, Jones 4. 3-point goals-Zuyev 2, Homer 1. Records-Shorecrest 8-15 overall. Everett 8-16.