The Edmonds-Woodway Warriors pulled away from the Monroe Bearcats Tuesday night, winning 63-51 in their first-round District 1 playoff game at E-W’s home gym.
As has become their pattern, the Warriors used a third-quarter surge to put away the visitors. Coming into the postseason, the boys from E-W have been led in scoring by a pair of juniors, Jason Smarr and Travis Bakken. Tonight, the pair each led for a half, with Bakken scoring 12 in the first half and Smarr matching his 12 in the second.
The Bearcats won the tip-off and Riley Schelfout scored a 3-pointer to give the Bearcats an early 3-0 lead. Bakken answered with a pair of buckets for E-W, only to have Schelfout nail another 3 as Monroe went ahead 6-4. Alex Hull scored a running two for the Warriors, followed by another pair of Bakken buckets, putting the home team up 10-8. Schelfhout scored another pair of baskets, but Brad Rice and Luke Langdale countered for the Warriors before Nicota Stevenson hit a lay-in as time expired in the first period, making 15-14 E-W. Bakken scored eight of those 15 Warrior points.
A pair of Bakken buckets, combined with a runner by Rice and a pair of free throws by Langdale, offset a 3-pointer by Monroe’s Tyler Sharp as the Warriors opened up a 23-19 second quarter lead. Sharp answered with another three before Smarr stole the ball, drove the length of the court, was fouled and made one of two free throws. On the next possession, Smarr stole the ball again, made the shot and also the subsequent free throw.
Tristan Witham scored next for the Bearcats, but Langdale converted a tough bucket for the Warriors and as time expired, Devin Joseph took a perfect pass from Rice just outside the 3-point line and swished the shot as time expired, sending the Warriors into the locker room with a 32-25 lead.
E-W started the second half scoring the first six points on a pair of baskets by Bakken and also a breakaway by Smarr off a tightrope pass from Langdale. Hunter Bingham became involved for Monroe, hitting a 3-pointer followed by a 2-pointer sandwiched around a pair of Joseph free throws. Hull scored a couple of baskets for E-W, first on a jumper, then on a lay-in following a steal by Joseph, as the Warriors raced ahead 46-32.
Brandon Gunderson scored a pair of baskets for Monroe before Smarr hit a 3-ball from the corner to close out the scoring in the third and put the Warriors ahead 49-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
As the fourth quarter started, any doubt as to the outcome was quickly erased as Bakken took a full-court pass and converted the lay-up, followed by Smarr hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, giving the Warriors a 54-36 advantage. The Bearcats scored a couple of buckets, but the Warriors continued to pull away, at one time leading by 19 with just under four minutes left in the game. E-W went on to win by the final margin of 63-51.
The Warriors were led in scoring by Bakken’s 18 and Smarr’s 16. Joseph had nine points and distributed six assists. The Action Jackson Plumbing Warrior Radio player of the game was Luke Langdale, who scored six points, grabbed seven rebounds and passed out three assists. Warrior Radio announcer Keith Nealy said, “ Langdale added energy, especially early in the game.”
The Warriors advance to the District 1 semi-finals this Friday at 8 p.m., facing Arlington at Glacier Peak High School. That game will be broadcast live and on demand on Warrior Radio.
Warriors scoring: Bakken 18, Smarr 16, Joseph 9, Rice 8, Hull 6, Langdale 6, Budnick, Edwards, Lebesis, Wooley, Okereke, Olson
Bearcats scoring: Sharp 15, Schelfhout 12, Stevenson 8, Bingham 6, Gunderson 4, Witham 2, Shore 2, Shuey 2
— Report contributed by EWHS statistician Jeff Smarr