SNOHOMISH — The Stanwood High School girls basketball team was looking to get back on track.
The Spartans, ranked sixth in Class 3A, entered Friday night’s Wesco 3A/2A clash with an always-tough Snohomish squad just three nights removed from scoring a season-low 39 points against Everett and suffering their first league loss of the season.
Stanwood regained its groove with a strong all-around effort against the Panthers.
Vivienne Berrett poured in a game-high 28 points, the Spartans allowed just two points in the second quarter and Stanwood held off a Snohomish run in the third on its way to a 59-41 victory.
“We definitely needed it,” Berrett said of the bounce-back win. “It got our spirits back up and we had a really fun time playing team basketball. We were passing it really well. Everyone … was getting what they needed to get done to help us win the game.”
The Spartans (10-2, 7-1 league) and Panthers (8-5, 5-3) traded blows in a back-and-forth first quarter, but Stanwood asserted itself with a dominant second.
The Spartans turned up the pressure on defense and forced a number of turnovers, including three steals by senior Chloe Santeford. They rarely afforded Snohomish good looks at the hoop and surrendered just two points in the frame.
“We have really good athletes and great defensive players across the board, and we don’t want to make it easy on our opponents,” first-year Stanwood coach Dustin Swanson said. “… If we can put pressure on the ball, that can spur our energy sometimes.”
The defense helped lead to transition buckets and a balanced offensive attack that saw six Stanwood players combine for 17 points in the quarter, including 3-pointers by sophomore Jazmyn Legg, junior La’Tana Swinton and senior Grace Walker. Legg’s triple early in the quarter broke an 11-all tie and put Stanwood in the lead for good.
After trailing 28-13 at halftime, Snohomish battled back in the third. The Panthers held Stanwood without a field goal for over three minutes and cut their deficit to 35-29 on senior Jada Andersen’s 3-pointer at the 2:25 mark. But that’s as close as the Panthers would get. Berrett broke the Spartans’ field-goal drought with just under 1:30 left in the quarter and pushed her team’s lead to 42-33 with bucket in the paint at the buzzer.
Stanwood used a steady dose of the 6-foot-4 Berrett to close out the fourth. The University of Hawaii-bound senior netted 10 points in the final frame to give her 20 of her team’s 31 in the second half.
“Vivienne is a very diligent worker. She sticks with it,” Swanson said. “It wasn’t easy, especially early on, and I thought our girls really stayed focus on taking what was there and then getting back to her and staying with it. When you do that, it’s going to produce in the end.”
Senior Tatum Brager added 10 points, Legg had six and Walker chipped in eight rebounds for Stanwood.
Sophomore Tyler Gildersleeve-Stiles scored 13 of her team-high 17 points in the second half and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Snohomish, which had its eight-game win streak snapped. Freshman Sienna Capelli added eight points and Andresen and junior Catherine Greene chipped in six apiece.
With the win, the Spartans remain one of three teams in Wesco 3A/2A with one loss in conference play. Stanwood, Everett (8-1) and Lynnwood (7-1) all sit just behind first-place Arlington (8-0).
“Going through adversity (with the loss to Everett), we wanted to be at our best tonight,” Swanson said. “I was really proud of the effort the girls had. It was a really important win for us because we needed to get back on track.”