SHORELINE — Some wins are simply a little sweeter than others.
That was the case Thursday night for the Shorecrest High School girls basketball team.
Nearly one year removed from a 30-28 upset loss to Meadowdale in a winner-to-state, loser-out contest at the Class 3A Northwest District Tournament, the Scots (14-1, 8-1 Wesco 3A/2A) dismantled the Mavericks 59-29 behind stellar defense and a dominant performance on the glass in a Wesco 3A/2A matchup at Shorecrest High School.
“Meadowdale’s always a tough opponent,” Shorecrest coach Carlos Humphrey said. “We knew it was big matchup going back to last year when they knocked us out. So it was one we had circled on the calendar for sure. … We had a game plan going in and we executed it offensively, defensively, we kind of hit a stride. Proud of the girls. We were ready to go tonight.”
Ready to go the Scots certainly were.
Shorecrest never trailed after scoring the game’s first on a free throw and outrebounded the Mavericks (12-5, 8-3) 48-27 with senior post Kiana Lino enforcing her will throughout the night against a short-handed Meadowdale squad that was without standout junior post Fatoumata Jaiteh.
Lino scored 13 of her game-high 17 points in the second half and pulled down 19 rebounds for a Shorecrest team that made a living off second-chance buckets.
“She is a load down low,” Humphrey said. “She’s learning how to play. She’s super strong. She’s a state champion in 3A shot put. So she has a lot of strength. We call her the powerful forward sometimes.”
Mavericks coach Arie Mahler said Jaiteh missed the game due to a sprained ankle suffered in practice Wednesday night. The second-team all-league selection was cleared to play before Thursday’s contest, but Mahler erred on the side of caution with the postseason just a few weeks away.
“Had this been a postseason game, she would have played,” Mahler said. “But you know we have goals of going further this year (than last year) … I need her healthy and I also wanted to see who was going to step up, who was going to rise to the challenge.”
The win moved Shorecrest one-half game behind first-place Arlington (9-1 league) in the Wesco 3A/2A standings. The Scots hold a tiebreaker over the Eagles after a 58-43 win on Dec. 21, 2019.
The Scots combined their dominance on the glass with a physical, man defense that held Meadowdale to an ice-cold shooting performance.
Shorecrest built a 7-0 lead in the first quarter before while holding the Mavericks scoreless for over 5 minutes to start the game. Lilly Williams finished a contested lay-in at the 2:42 mark of the first quarter to get Meadowdale on the board.
After Meadowdale’s 8-2 second-quarter run cut the Scots’ lead to 13-10 with 4:18 remaining to play in first half, the Shorecrest defense clamped down again.
The Scots ended the half on a 12-0 run, sparked by four straight points from senior Maura Weaver, for a 25-10 advantage at the break. Shorecrest continued its defensive mastery by holding Meadowdale scoreless for the entire third quarter, outscoring the Mavericks 17-0 in the period and building a 29-0 run over a 12:48 stretch. Shorecrest pushed its lead to as many as 35 points at 38-13 in the fourth quarter.
“I think we really pulled it together,” Lino said of her team’s performance. “We really played together. Our chemistry is so good as I’ve mentioned before. I’m proud of us.”
Sophomore Silja Knutsen ended Meadowdale’s long scoreless stretch with a made free throw just 13 seconds into the final period.
“We knew that Shorecrest wanted to seek a little revenge for last year,” Mahler said. “I thought we played well in the first quarter all in all, but I think offensively we just had no rhythm tonight. I thought defensively we stayed with them for a good portion of the first half and then we just couldn’t hang with them too much longer.”
Amanda Lee added 10 points, Sydney VanNess had nine points and 10 rebounds and Weaver scored all seven of her points in the first half to give Shorecrest an early offensive spark.
Williams and Kaisha Stark each netted seven points for Meadowdale. Williams became Meadowdale’s all-time leader in made 3-point field goals when she drained her 203rd career triple in the fourth quarter.
“Amongst a disappointing night, it was really cool to see her teammates’ (reaction),” Mahler said. “Once they grasped ‘Oh my gosh, this is a career thing.’ Then it was a lot of hugs and a lot of cheering. It was cool.”