LYNNWOOD — Both Shorewood and Meadowdale entered Tuesday’s boys basketball game tied for fourth in the Wesco 3A/2A South, but with the opportunity to finish to earn as high as a second seed in the upcoming district tournament before the regular season concludes on Feb. 10.
The Thunderbirds seized the opportunity, nearly leading wire-to-wire in a 53-39 win over Meadowdale. Shorewood still trails league-leading Glacier Peak, Shorecrest and Edmonds-Woodway in the standings, but as a 2A school the Scots compete in a different district tournament and the Warriors, who lead the Thunderbirds by one game, close the regular season with games against the Grizzlies and the Scots. If the Warriors lose both games and Shorewood beats Mountlake Terrace next Tuesday, the Thunderbirds will be the No. 2 seed in the district tournament.
Shorewood junior forward Ian Kirk got his team going offensively, scoring 15 points in the first half, including nine in the second quarter. Meadowdale took an early 2-0 lead, but Kirk responded with six straight points to give the Thunderbirds a lead they would never give up. Kirk’s second basket of the game, a dunk on a fastbreak, seemed to ignite his teammates and the Shorewood fans in the stands.
“Ian’s been a little sick and had an injury for a little bit, so he hasn’t had a complete game in a while,” Shorewood head coach Corey O’Hayre said. “It was nice to see him get off to a good start and he had a really good game tonight.”
After Meadowdale made a run late in the third quarter to get to within nine heading into the final stanza, Kirk’s younger brother, sophomore Sean Kirk, took over. Kirk scored 11 of his 13 points in the final quarter and the Thunderbirds pulled away.
“Sean got in foul trouble early, but had a great fourth quarter,” O’Hayre said. “You see when we can get out and run that Sean’s great at doing that.”
Shorewood’s defense held Meadowdale to single digits in scoring in three of the four quarters. The Mavericks 39 points were their third fewest all season.
“I give all the credit to Shorewood,” Meadowdale head coach Andy Streit said. “They played great defense and they made it tough for us. We need to get better from here and clean stuff up.”
Defense has been a focus for Shorewood all season.
“We work a lot on defense in practice — a lot,” O’Hayre said. “Probably 70 percent of practice is defense. We really focus on trying to take care of guys on the defensive end. They don’t play a very fast pace so the score might be a little deceiving, but they are a tough team that executes really well so I was glad to see that most of the game we took care of what they were trying to do to us.”
Meadowdale has had its share of adversity this season, but barring a disaster should qualify for districts with the eighth and final seed.
“We’ve taken our lumps all year,” Streit said. “We’ve battled through adversity and injury and everything like that. I don’t think our guys are going to mail it in by any means. I’ve seen us respond before. I just think that if we can get in then we have a possibility of making some noise.”
Shorewood 53, Meadowdale 39
At Meadowdale H.S.
Shorewood—Jordan Muir-Keung 3, Brandon Mar 11, Karson Gronvold 4, Kaimana Aki 0, Thomas Hundhausen 0, Bryan Spee, Ian Kirk 22, Callahan Gobel 0, Sean Kirk 13. Meadowdale—Kenley Ackerman 0, Charlie White 13, Malik Braxton 0, Chiagozie Ezeokeke 5, Griffin Over 5, Reid Wilson 5, Nathan Heilpap 1, Kyle Grund 2, Harrison White 2, Aidan O’Neill 6, Caleb Tingstad 0, Lee Bruemmer 0. 3-point goals—Shorewood: I. Kirk 2, S. Kirk 1; Meadowdale: Ezeokeke 1, Over 1, Wilson 1, O’Neill 2. Records—Shorewood 6-5 league, 8-11 overall. Meadowdale 5-6, 9-9.