LYNNWOOD — No longer in search of their identity, the revamped Meadowdale Mavericks are on a major roll.
After an outstanding first quarter in which it built a 14-point lead, the Meadowdale High School boys basketball team withstood the Mountlake Terrace Hawks’ comeback bid and prevaile
d 44-40 on Friday in a Western Conference 3A game.
Junior guard Torin Dooley (12 points), senior wing Tyce Tallman (nine points) and senior wing Sean Hennessey (eight points) were the top scorers for surging Meadowdale, which has won six consecutive games. The red-hot Mavs are 5-1 in league, 7-5 overall.
Slumping Mountlake Terrace (3-4, 4-7), in the midst of a six-game losing skid, outscored Meadowdale in each of the final three quarters and cut the deficit to two points (42-40) with 1 minute, 22 seconds to go. But the Hawks failed to score the rest of the way. They turned the ball over in the final 10 seconds, trailing 43-40. Meadowdale’s Dooley made 1 of 2 foul shots to clinch it.
It’s yet another huge league victory for Meadowdale, which graduated eight seniors (including all five starters) from its 2009-2010 squad that placed fifth at the 3A state tournament.
After beginning this season 1-5, Meadowdale has jelled and is bursting with confidence.
“It was just a matter of guys getting used to playing with the varsity intensity level,” Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire said, “and more important just getting an identity. We’re not last year’s team; we’re this year’s team. Who are we going to be?”
Right now, Meadowdale appears to be a formidable division contender. The second-place Mavs are one game behind Wesco 3A-leading Glacier Peak (6-0, 9-3), which beat Everett (1-4, 3-8) 65-53 on Friday.
“It’s been rough, but it’s fun,” Dooley said of Meadowdale’s quest to find its new identity. “It’s hard work to get to this point.”
The first half was a tale of two vastly different quarters. Meadowdale had a great start, outscoring Mountlake Terrace 16-2 in the first period. The Mavs nailed three 3s in the quarter, including a long bomb by Tallman, who scored seven points in the period.
Meanwhile, Mountlake Terrace was ice cold. The Hawks started 0-for-14 from the field. Their two points in the opening quarter were free throws by Will Powell, a senior guard who ultimately scored 15 points.
“It starts with defense. We came out hard,” said Dooley. “We weren’t letting them penetrate and we weren’t letting them get open shots.”
However, in the second quarter Mountlake Terrace played much better. It immediately harassed Meadowdale with aggressive defense and forced five turnovers in the period while outscoring Meadowdale 15-8 and cutting the deficit to 24-17 by halftime. Powell, senior post Julian Snow and senior wing Zach Karels fueled the Hawks’ offense, combining to score 13 points in the second.
Mountlake Terrace kept up its solid play in the third quarter and outscored Meadowdale 13-11. Snow had six points, including a 3-pointer that got the Hawks within 35-30 late in the period.
In the fourth quarter, Mountlake Terrace sliced the deficit to one (38-37) when Powell swished a 3 from the left side. But the struggling Hawks didn’t make it happen down the stretch.
“We’re just sort of not making plays when we need to to win basketball games. We had opportunities again tonight and we didn’t have the composure to make the plays,” Mountlake Terrace coach Nalin Sood said.
By no means was it all bad news for the Hawks, who played stellar defense and rebounded well after the first quarter. They just need to play a complete game, Sood said.
“It’s disappointing,” Sood said of his team’s six-game losing streak, “but there’s a difference between disappointing and discouraging. It’s obvious that we’re playing three (good) quarters and not four (good) quarters of basketball.”
At Meadowdale H.S.
Terrace 2 15 13 10 — 40
Meadowdale 16 8 11 9 — 44
Mountlake Terrace: Powell 15, Fernandez, Karels 6, Armstead 2, Haldane 1, Johnson 4, Snow 12, Lambert. Meadowdale: Linton 4, Tallman 9, Hennessey 8, Dooley 12, Buck 6, Hong 1, Feldhaus 2, Mahler 2. 3-point goals-Powell 3, Snow 1, Linton 1, Tallman 1, Dooley 2. Records-Mountlake Terrace 3-4 in division, 4-7 overall. Meadowdale 5-1, 7-5.
Mike Cane: email@example.com. Check out the prep sports blog Double Team at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam and follow Cane on Twitter at MikeCaneHerald.