Whatever questions there were about the Edmonds-Woodway offense seemed to be answered in the first quarter of Tuesday’s first-round Northwest District boys basketball game.
The Warriors connected on nine straight shots to start the game and opened up a 24-9 lead en route to a 54-39 victory over Lake Stevens at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
All season long Edmonds-Woodway coach Gail Pintler kept saying that the Warriors can shoot the ball well.
“Sometime we’re going to find it and we found it tonight,” he said.
All five starters had a hand in at least one of the nine baskets at the start of the first quarter.
“That was probably our best quarter so far this year,” said senior forward Eric Greenwood, who scored a team-high 15 points. “That’s how we were playing at practice, just really getting after it with a lot of intensity. We had a lot of energy. I think that carried over to the first quarter.”
Pintler wasn’t surprised Edmonds-Woodway shot the ball well.
“It did surprise me we shot as well as we did to start with just everything going down,” he said. “That’s tough.”
The Warriors cooled off somewhat in the remaining three quarters but the lead never fell below double digits.
Lake Stevens closed to 41-30 early in the fourth quarter but Edmonds-Woodway responded with a 6-0 run to push the lead to 47-30.
Pintler was pleased with the strong first quarter performance and also liked that the Warriors kept up the intensity late in the game.
“Those kids finished as about as strong as they could finish,” Pintler said.
Greenwood is hoping the first quarter of Tuesday’s game is a preview of what’s to come.
“It shows that we can definitely put up the points,” he said. “We’ve got to keep that going the whole game. … I think that maybe we’re a little bit of a streaky team, but I think we’re going to start dialing that down even more as the playoffs go on.”
Edmonds-Woodway plays Western Conference North Division champion Snohomish at 6 p.m. tonight (Friday, Feb. 16) in a semifinal game at Jackson High School.
Pintler thought that Edmonds-Woodway (16-5 overall) might have had an edge in strength inside, so the Warriors tried to go to their big people.
Center Connor Donaldson scored 14 points and forward Casey Hamlett added nine points for the Warriors.
“We tried to get inside more tonight,” Pintler said. “We felt we had a little more strength on them.”
The Warriors also made rebounding a top priority and the effort paid off as Lake Stevens did not get many second-shot opportunities, Pintler noted.
“Defensively, the goal was basically to limit them to one shot,” Greenwood said. “No open shots. Always a hand in their face. Never give them a chance for an open layup. Basically make them work for every single point.”
At one point in the regular season, Edmonds-Woodway was riding a 12-game winning streak. The Warriors, however, dropped three out of their last four regular season games.
“We didn’t lose in the sense that we were playing poorly,” Pintler said. “The others were playing well.”
The Warriors’ confidence never wavered, Greenwood said.
“We kind of stumbled a little bit and didn’t necessarily play our best games,” he said. “But we knew that’s not how we normally play and we were capable of so much more. It was just more a little bump in the road and we were going to get right back on track as soon as the playoffs started for sure.”