ARLINGTON – Adam Dickson is even better at cleaning up than he is at mopping up.
With his team behind by two points in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, Dickson, a senior forward for the Squalicum Storm, took a towel and got down on his hands and knees to mop up a wet spot on the floor after a foul during Saturday night’s 3A District 1 playoff game against Meadowdale.
Ten seconds after play resumed, Dickson knocked down a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner – the first of a trio of treys he threw down in the final period – to launch a blistering 17-0 run that blew the Storm past the Mavericks 53-36 at Arlington High School.
“That was kind of fun,” Dickson said of performing clean-up duties with the nearby Meadowdale student section good-naturedly giving him the business.
“It gave us a little breather … we got back our legs … then we started hitting shots and playing ‘D.’”
With the triumph Squalicum (18-4) moves on to the winner-to-state district championship game against Mount Vernon on Thursday at Arlington.
Meadowdale (15-8) must regroup quickly for a Tuesday loser-out game against Arlington (5-17) on the Eagles home floor. The Mavericks – or Arlington – can still advance to the state tournament with three consecutive victories.
Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire is confident his squad can rebound from the loss.
“We’ve done it all year,” McGuire said. “We need to go on a three game winning streak … that’s our goal.”
The runaway that occurred over the final seven minutes seemed an unlikely capstone to a game that was close for three-plus quarters.
“We didn’t shoot very well for three quarters, but we found a way to get it done in the fourth,” Squalicum coach Dave Dickson said. “I’m proud of my guys for hanging in and finding a way to win against a very good quality Meadowdale team.”
“Whoever gets that first lead in the fourth quarter gets to be in control,” McGuire said. “It’s a fine line between winning and losing and they were making the shots at the end.”
After Adam Dickson’s first 3-pointer, a free throw by Royal Prendergast and a bucket in the paint by Nick Stackhouse staked Squalicum to a 38-34 lead.
With 5:40 to play Dickson sank a 3-pointer from the top, right side of the circle. Then, Dickson stole the ball and fed Keith Stackhouse for a lay-in and a nine-point bulge.
The Mavericks floundered on three possessions and at the 2:30 mark Dickson buried his third trey.
When Meadowdale came up empty on its next possession, Prendergast made another 3-pointer for Squalicum to make the score 49-34 with 1:40 remaining.
The trio of Adam Dickson (14 points, five rebounds), Nick Stackhouse (10 points, four rebounds) and Prendergast (16 points, six rebounds) led the way for Squalicum. Chad Clark contributed seven assists for the Storm.
Meadowdale, which jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the opening minutes, was led by Milan Moncrief (15 points, five rebounds, two steals).
Behind 20-15 late in the second quarter, the Mavericks forged a halftime tie with a bucket by Matt Gorman (10 points, four rebounds) and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Moncrief.
Gorman provided another lift in the third quarter, scoring eight points to spark Meadowdale to a 34-32 lead. Gorman added four rebounds for the game.
At Arlington H.S.
Meadowdale-O’Neil 4, Moncrief 15, Gorman 10, Dooley 3, Threet 2, Law 2. Squalicum-Clark 3, K. Stackhouse 4, Hartle 2, Prendergast 16, N. Stackhouse 10, Dickson 14, Wallace 2, Gilfilen 2. 3-point goals-Clark 1, Prendergast 1, Dickson 4. Records-Meadowdale 15-8, Squalicum 18-4.