LYNNWOOD – This team can shine even without its biggest star.
With guard Jake Linton and his 20.4 points-per-game average sidelined, the Mavericks of Meadowdale High School overcame a 10-point halftime deficit and defeated the Mariner Marauders 46-44 in double overtime Saturday in a Western Conference South Division game at the Meadowdale High gym.
Meadowdale guard Jordan McGinnis was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in double overtime and teammate Claude Atcho scored 10 of his team-high 14 points after halftime as the Mavericks scored an upset, improving to 6-2 in league and 8-2 overall. Tommy Craddock scored a game-high 15 points for Mariner, which slipped to 6-2, 8-2.
Meadowdale’s Linton missed his second consecutive game after suffering a concussion Jan. 7 against Lynnwood when his head hit an opponent’s knee. A doctor will evaluate Linton on Monday. Meanwhile, thanks to a balanced effort and gritty defense, the diagnosis of his team remained positive.
“A lot of us got a lot more confidence,” said McGinnis, who notched half of his eight points in the final three minutes, 44 seconds. “Having (Linton) away, I don’t want to say it was good. But it gave a lot of people a real big confidence booster.”
Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire was happy to see his team fill Linton’s void.
“We showed a lot of heart coming back from 10 (points) down … We just kept working and kept working and kept working.”
Meadowdale held Mariner to nine total points in the third and fourth quarters and managed to win despite losing two starters to fouls in the first overtime. And McGuire knew McGinnis could come through at the free-throw line.
“He’s a great shooter and he loves that pressure,” the Mavericks coach said of McGinnis, whose fourth free throw in double overtime made it 45-41 with 18 seconds to play. Mariner’s Jerrel Grant made a 3-pointer with 10 seconds to go that cut the deficit to one point, but Meadowdale’s John Rouse made another free throw with three seconds remaining. The Marauders couldn’t get another shot off.
“The big thing was we didn’t make free throws,” said Mariner coach Dexter Griffen. His team was 5-for-13 from the line in the extra sessions. “We just didn’t execute down the stretch.”
Meadowdale’s surge without Linton didn’t surprise Griffen. “Sometimes when you lose your go-to guy,” Griffen said, “it brings you together more as a team. Tonight when they had to make their big free throws, when they had to make their big shots, they made ‘em.”
Meadowdale took its first lead since early in the second quarter when Demetri Huffman made a pull-up jump shot to put the Mavericks in front 36-35 with 1:25 to go in the fourth quarter. Craddock made a free throw 17 seconds later to tie it at 36-36. Meadowdale had a chance to go ahead but Huffman missed a tough leaning lay-up. On its next possession, Mariner’s Cramer missed a lay-in and Meadowdale grabbed the rebound and called timeout with one second on the clock. Cramer then stole the in-bounds pass near mid-court and missed a long 3-point attempt as the game went to overtime.
Mariner-Cramer 6, Cartwright 11, Grant 7, Craddock 15, Fry 2, Davis 3. Meadowdale-Marsh 3, McGinnis 8, Huffman 4, Atcho 14, Hagen 12, Bahta 3, Rouse 2. 3-point goals-Cramer 2, Cartwright, Grant 2, Bahta. JV score-Mariner 46, Meadowdale 43. Records-Mariner 6-2 in league, 8-2 overall. Meadowdale 6-2, 8-2.