Royals’ Fajemisin turns tables on Scots

  • Wednesday, January 7, 2009 12:12pm

Lynnwood gets first win over Shorecrest in 12 years

By Tony Dondero

Enterprise reporter


Freshman Mokun Fajemisin answered the call in crunch time as Lynnwood picked up a big Western Conference South Division win over 3A rival Shorecrest in overtime.

Lynnwood’s 52-48 win over Shorecrest Jan. 5 at Shorecrest High School was its first over the Scots in 12 years.

“This was a really important game for us to be competitive in our league,” Fajemisin said. “So we just toughed it up and played like a team.”

Lynnwood’s last win over the Scots came on February 10, 1997 by a score of 45-43 in a game that was rescheduled because of snow. Snow also postponed Monday’s game from December 17. The 1997 win ended a dominant run by Lynnwood through the league in the early to mid-1990s.

The 5-foot, 10-inch Fajemisin dominated the paint in the fourth quarter and overtime, scoring 13 of the Royals’ last 17 points.

“She’s a tough matchup for a lot of teams,” Lynnwood coach Everett Edwards said. “We really want to get the ball inside to her whenever we can.”

Lynnwood lost three times to Shorecrest last year, but with the Royals 3-1 in the conference, and the Scots 0-4, the teams’ fortunes have turned.

“It’s a great win for us,” Edwards said.

Shorecrest led by as many as four in the fourth quarter but only made 2-of-6 free throws in the period, which gave Lynnwood a chance to rally.

Shorecrest point guard Rachel Schrote, who scored 11 points in the second half after struggling in the first half, knocked down a jumper with about two minutes to go to give the Scots a 44-42 lead.

After Shorecrest’s Ashley Hagood missed the front end of a one-and-one, Fajemisin went to work, scoring on a putback to tie it at 44 with 24 seconds left.

Shorecrest had the final shot of regulation but post Gloria Tseng’s effort inside the paint fell short.

In overtime, Tseng scored first to put Shorecrest up two, but Fajemisin went to work inside again scoring back-to-back buckets to give the Scots a 48-46 lead with 45 seconds to go.

Shorecrest’s Janie Uppinghouse drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws to tie it with 31 seconds left, but Fajemisin got fouled on Lynnwood’s possession and hit the second of two foul shots to give the Royals a 49-48 lead. On the ensuing possession, Hagood drove toward the hoop but her shot was off the mark.

Hagood fouled Lynnwood’s Casey Evans, who hit a pair of free throws that gave the Royals a 51-48 lead with seven seconds left.

The Scots had a final chance to tie but Schrote traveled for Shorecrest’s 23rd turnover of the night.

Fajemisin drew a foul and hit one of two shots to ice it.

The Scots did not have an answer for the Lynnwood freshman all night, especially in the stretch run.

Lynnwood led 25-19 at the half, bolstered by 14 Shorecrest turnovers.

“The trouble early on was that she was getting a lot of offensive rebounds, getting herself second chances,” Shorecrest coach Ed Wissing said. “So we switched to man and tried to provide good weak side help because we were fronting her. A few times we had breakdowns there and they were able to successfully (pass it) over the top for layins. But really where she won the game was offensive rebounds.”

Shorecrest regrouped and outscored Lynnwood 17-10 in the third quarter to take back the lead, but the Royals stayed calm and in control thanks to Fajemisin and the ball handling of freshman point guard Casey Evans.

“The girls just came together and fought hard and never quit,” Edwards said.

Lynnwood shot 19-for-51 from the field for 37 percent. Shorecrest shot 16-for-47 from the field for 34 percent.

The 5-2 freshman Evans scored nine points and hit a 3-pointer while Kari Hella scored six points and hit a 3-pointer for Lynnwood. Meghan Cross added eight points.

Schrote finished with 12 points and a 3-pointer, while Tseng added 11 points and Hagood had a team-high 14 and a 3-pointer.

Shorecrest’s tallest player, 6-foot freshman India Matheson, played well against Fajemisin, but could only play two quarters because she played in the JV game won by Shorecrest.

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