Stiles guides SW boys by LHS

  • Charlie Laughtland<br>Enterprise writer
  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:36am

LYNNWOOD — All Michael Stiles was trying to do was get his defender in foul trouble. He did that and more.

The 6-foot-3 junior forward plunked down a career-high 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting to spark Shorewood’s 63-48 victory over Lynnwood in a Western Conference 4A South Division boys basketball matchup Tuesday night at Lynnwood High School.

Stiles scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, hitting all four of his free throw attempts and five of his six field goals.

“People were just feeding me the ball,” Stiles said. “We wanted to try and get their shooter in foul trouble.”

The Thunderbirds were targeting Lynnwood’s Robbie Alexander, who drained a pair of 3-pointers in the first half to keep the Royals close.

In the process, Stiles received the ball on the low post for several close-range buckets.

In one two-minute stretch of the fourth period, Stiles scored nine straight points for Shorewood (9-6 league, 11-6 overall).

“The light came on in his head,” T-birds coach Jeff Denny said. “They had a player (Alexander) with three fouls, so we tried to take advantage and go right at him. We went to Mike and he finished it off down low for us.”

Stiles has reached double figures in eight games and is the team’s third leading scorer — behind the sophomore tandem of Rob Diederichs and Sean Tracey — at 8.5 points per game.

“That gives us another threat as far as scoring,” Denny said of Stiles’ breakout performance. “We’ve got Sean and Rob, who are fairly consistent with their scoring. So to have another player that’s capable of putting up 20-plus points makes us that much more effective on offense.”

The T-birds took control by opening the second quarter with a 13-0 run to seize a 21-10 lead.

Lynnwood closed the gap to three with 2:16 left in the half but Shorewood extended its advantage back to double digits midway through the third quarter.

“We wanted to get out and push the ball, but we didn’t want to be in fastbreak mode with our offense once we got past halfcourt,” Denny said. “We wanted to slow down and be patient and make (Lynnwood) work on defense.”

With the win, the T-birds held on to the division’s third seed to the Northwest District 4A tournament behind Mariner and Mountlake Terrace. The Hawks own a half-game edge on Shorewood for the No. 2 seed.

“We’re going to have to win at least three of our last four games so we can get that second seed,” Stiles said. “That’s what we’re really shooting for right now.”

As a No. 2 seed, Shorewood would host a first-round playoff game.

“Our goals have changed as the season’s gone on,” Denny said. “We’ve set them a little higher now. We’re shooting for the No. 2 seed. That would give us a home game to start the playoffs.”

The T-birds host Jackson tonight and Edmonds-Woodway Feb. 18 before closing out the regular season Feb. 20 at Everett.

“We need to continue to play better each night out,” Denny said. “We can’t take a couple of steps back now … at this point we have to be in playoff mode.

“Everyone’s turning up their level of play right now and we’ve got to do the same.”

Talk to us