By Quint Turner
Free throws are the key shot to hit in basketball, especially in a close game. On Thursday night, Meadowdale’s boys’ basketball team missed essential free throws and lost their non-league season opener in a 49-47 overtime thriller to the Monroe Bearcats on the Mavs’ home court.
From the start, the tone was set during a back-and-forth first quarter, during which both sides took 5-0 runs and kept the score close, with Monroe ahead 15-13 at the end of the first period. Maverick senior Sean Hennessey put up 7 points in the first and senior Tom Meeus, the leading Bearcats’ scorer with 10 points, added 4.
The Mavs went on a 7-0 run at the start of the second quarter, but cold shooting and turnovers plagued both teams. Meadowdale had a 20-17 lead at halftime, led by junior Spencer Linton, who scored 5 of his 12 points in the second period.
Monroe dominated the third quarter behind the balanced attack of Meeus, Cole Parker and Slava Ulanovski, and rode a 7-0 run to lead 36-34 by the end of the period.
Meadowdale, meanwhile, was in foul trouble most of the second half. Star senior Tyce Tallman had 11 points and would foul out in the fourth. The final period was where the free throws really counted, and both sides had too many misses. Despite efforts of Linton and a huge 3-pointer that he hit when the Mavs were down by 6, the team couldn’t score on most plays, and made just 2 of 9 free throws in the quarter. At the end of the fourth, the score was tied 43-43, leading to overtime.
The OT was fierce. Each side would come down, miss, get the rebound, and then promptly miss again. The ‘Cats were ahead 46-43 with 1:30 to go when Meadowdale’s Torin Dooley came up big with back-to-back buckets to put the Mavs up by one, 47-46. The ‘Cats wouldn’t be outdone as Parker got the bucket back, and the Mavs couldn’t score on the next possession.
After the obligatory fouls to stop the clock, the Mavs were down 49-47 on the inbound pass but missed the final shot attempt, giving Monroe the win.
My Edmonds News sportswriter Quint Turner is a student at Meadowdale High School.