EDMONDS — The season is just two games old for the Meadowdale boys basketball team and already it might be time for other teams in the league to take notice.
The Mavericks improved to 2-0 with a 62-54 nonleague victory over Edmonds-Woodway in the annual rubber chicken game between the two Edmonds School District teams on Saturday. It was the Mavs second victory over a 4A school to start the season after a convincing win over Lynnwood on Tuesday.
The recipe for success so far has been simple: speed and pressure. Meadowdale looks to attack quickly on the offensive end and wears down the opponent with relentless pressure from its defense.
“That’s something we take pride in Meadowdale head coach Andy Streit said. “We’re not the tallest team out there, but we’ve got a bunch of guys with huge hearts. We got guys who are buying into the team concept and accepting their roles. We’re trying to play to our strengths.
The pressure was something Edmonds-Woodway tried to adjust to at halftime, but to no avail.
“We talked about it at halftime and we made some adjustments, but they just played with a lot of good energy,” Warriors’ head coach Steve Call said. “I just thought they had way more energy from the get go.”
Call’s assessment was backed up by the fact that Meadowdale had built a 7-0 lead before two minutes had ticked off in the first quarter.
After winning just four games a season ago and seven the year before that, the Mavericks have been transforming into a run-and-gun team. The transition has been seamless so far, but the difference in play from years past might come as a bit of a shock to someone who hasn’t seen the team play recently.
“We flew under the radar because we were getting beat up last year,” Streit said. “We were getting ready to be able to play games like this. We battled through a ton of adversity last year and we really thought of it as a two-year process. These guys have put in the work and now it’s paying off.
The Mavericks are also better able to execute their plan with senior guard Barrett Carlow back in the lineup. Carlow missed last season with a torn ACL, but has paced the Mavericks offense so far this season.
“We couldn’t be more happy to have him back,” Streit said. “It’s clear what a difference-maker he is for us. You couple that with the experience we gained last year and then having him run the show?we’re just enjoying the whole journey this year and this is certainly a great night.”
After a blowout in the first game of the season, the Mavericks got their first fourth-quarter test of the season on Saturday. Edmonds-Woodway was able to cut the deficit to seven late in the fourth quarter, but 6’9” post Jacob Perkins responded with an old fashioned three-point play with less than two minutes to play to help Meadowdale hang on.
“I’m couldn’t be more proud of them,” Streit said. “We’ve got a lot of things we need to do better on that front, but we battled through some tough calls that went against us and some plays where we could have been smarter. I’m so proud that our guys kept their heads because that’s exactly what we talk about every day.”
Perkins finished the game with 13 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks, a lockdown defensive effort on Edmonds-Woodway’s Travis Bakken and Alley Oop slam in the final moments of the second quarter to brought the visiting Meadowdale crowd to its feet.
The dunk might have been the highlight play of the game, but Perkins’ defense on Bakken proved to be a game changer.
“We basically said, ‘Jacob, you have Bakken tonight and we need you to step up for us,’” Streit said. “He obviously did. He was absolutely huge for us on both ends and I’m more proud for what he did on the defensive end than anything on the offensive end.”
Bakken and guard Jason Smarr, the Warriors’ top two scorers, combined for 18 points, but shot just 5-for-22 from the field. Perkins’ efforts to stop Bakken, along with his teammates’ efforts to shutdown Smarr proved to be too much for Edmonds-Woodway to overcome.
“They take about 40 percent of our shots,” Call said. “We can’t compete without those guys hitting.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com. At Edmonds-Woodway H.S.
Meadowdale 18 16 16 12 — 62
Edmonds-Woodway 12 13 11 18 — 54
Meadowdale—Kenley Ackerman 0, Landon Hopkins 0, Charlie White 16, Malik Braxton 7, Barrett Carlow 17, Jacob Perkins 13, Collin Costello 7, Chikodi Ezeokeke 0, Aaron Gurley 2, Aidan O’Neill 3, Caleb Tingstad 2. Edmonds-Woodway—Trey Holland 12, Jordan Rice 7, Brady Edwards 3, Tate Budnick 3, Ibro Polovina 0, Antonio Sherrill 3, Theo Lebesis 8, Jason Smarr 11, Travis Bakken 7. 3-point goals—Braxton 2, Carlow 2, O’Neill, Holland 2, Edwards, Smarr. Records—Meadowdale 2-0 overall. Edmonds-Woodway 0-2.