LYNNWOOD — Haben Tekle left his warm-up clothes at home, but that was about the only blemish for the Meadowdale junior guard Tuesday night.
Tekle posted 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his first career varsity start, leading the Mavericks to a 56-42 win over visiting Lynnwood in a Wesco 3A clash of Edmonds School District rivals.
“He lights us up in practice every day. It’s about time he did it against someone else,” third-year Meadowdale coach Roger O’Neill said with a laugh.
“He’d been having good practices and probably wasn’t having the success in games that he’d hoped for. But we believed in him (and) gave him the start. That was a really complete game out of him.”
The Mavericks (7-7 overall, 3-3 Wesco 3A) held Lynnwood scoreless for the game’s first six minutes, building a 16-0 lead as the Royals committed several turnovers and struggled to create open looks.
“It was defense,” O’Neill said of his team’s strong start. “It was because we kept sustaining stops, and then finished it off (with) rebounds.
“We were able to keep (our defenders) in front, contest shots and then go run. It warmed my heart. All at once, our whole identity came together there for a couple minutes.”
Lynnwood (6-9, 2-5) sliced the margin to 27-20 by halftime and cut it to 36-33 late in the third quarter, but the Mavericks pulled away in the fourth.
Tekle finished 4 of 8 from 3-point range and sophomore guard Colton Walsh added 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Meadowdale junior Nick Buckley scored all 10 of his points in the second half, and senior Will Schafer chipped in seven points, five assists and four steals for the Mavericks.
“It was a real team effort,” O’Neill said.
Meadowdale was playing its second consecutive game without senior standout Daniel Barhoum, who was averaging a team-high 12.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game before suffering a concussion.
The Mavericks have yet to play a game this season with both Barhoum and 6-foot-6 senior forward Mustapha Sonko on the floor. Sonko, who suffered an ankle injury prior to Meadowdale’s season opener, played Tuesday night in his second game since returning from injury.
“We still haven’t played a game with all our guys healthy yet,” O’Neill said. “So hopefully when (Daniel) gets back, we get the whole band back together.
“Once we get both of them on the court together,” he added, “I feel like we can really throw some length at people.”
After reaching the district tournament last year for the first time since 2011, the Mavericks matched last season’s win total with their seventh victory Tuesday night.
“I feel like we’re really starting to play good basketball, so that’s exciting,” O’Neill said.
“Maybe our final regular-season record won’t be as pretty as we wanted it to be at the start of the year. But if you’re playing good basketball at the end of January (and) early February, that’s all that matters.”
Lynnwood senior Alex Macias scored a team-high eight points for the youth-laden Royals, who have reached six wins for the second consecutive season. Prior to last season, Lynnwood won just 15 games combined over six seasons from 2010 to 2016.
“These kids were very resilient,” third-year Royals coach Bobby Hinnenkamp said of his team’s rally Tuesday night. “I don’t think we’ve ever started down 16-0. You get down like that, and it kind of becomes a gut check.
“We’re a pretty young team, so I was curious to how we were going to respond. I was proud of what they did to make it a game, because it’s easy to fold in that situation.”