The way Edmonds-Woodway girls basketball coach Duane Hodges sees it, the Nike Northwest Invitational Tournament in Beaverton offered the Lady Warriors an opportunity to measure themselves against some of the best regional and national high school teams.
The Warriors went 1-2 for the weekend, losing their first game to Clackamas, 62-53, Thursday, defeating host school Southridge 51-36 Friday and dropping an overtime contest Saturday to Washington State 4A defending champ Auburn Riverside, 61-54.
The final game was a rematch of sorts for the Lady Warriors, who had lost to Auburn Riverside in the first round of the state basketball tournament last year. Although the Ravens had graduated its four key players from last year and appeared to be undersized compared to the 2009 squad, Hodges said they were scrappier than he had expected.
Auburn Riverside led for most of the game and had a 27-25 lead at halftime, but the Warriors took a 2-point lead with 20 seconds left when Amia Nash stole a defensive rebound from the Ravens and laid it in. Auburn Riverside hit a 10 footer with six seconds remaining to tie, and E-W missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
In OT, Auburn Riverside jumped out to a 10-point lead before the Warriors clawed back to within 3. However, the Ravens were clutch from the line, making 6 of 7 free throws down the stretch to secure the 64-54 win.
Sydney Donaldson led E-W with 17 points while Ashley Albertson had 10. Auburn Riverside’s Kat Cooper (committed to attend Boston College) had 24.
While Hodges called the tournament “a wonderful experience for our program to play top notch teams,” it also revealed “a fair amount to work on to get better,” he said. “It was a wake-up call for me as a coach to get the ship righted.”
That said, the high level of play means that the Warriors will be ready for this week’s game against league rivals Jackson on Tuesday and Meadowdale on Saturday, Hodges said.