Boys basketball: Meadowdale downs Everett, 63-54
It took two years, but Meadowdale head coach Andy Streit finally got his revenge on the Everett Seagulls.
As a first-year head coach in 2012, Streit saw his team fail to make the district tournament when Everett beat them in a one-game tiebreaker, and then the Mavericks lost by a point in last year’s only meeting.
Streit and Meadowdale exorcised their demons with a huge 63-54 win Tuesday night at Meadowdale High School.
Five Mavericks had at least 10 points while the Seagulls were led by 12 points from Noah Juarez. The second quarter was the turning point of the game when the Mavericks outscored the Seagulls 31-5 and never had less than a seven-point lead after that.
One of the large problems for the Mavericks in the game was that Everett had a height advantage over them. Instead of trying to match up height vs. height, Streit started five speedy players who were to beat the Seagulls with agility. In fact, 6-9 Jacob Perkins sat out the entire first quarter.
On defense, all the Mavericks played zone except for Malik Braxton, who was given the task to shut down the extremely athletic, 6-5 Jace Chacon. It worked well, as Chacon only had 1 point until the fourth quarter. However, that didn’t completely stop the Seagull offense. The first points for Everett came on a 3-pointer by David Popach, who got open after Everett passed the ball around the zone defense and the Mavericks failed to close on him. That was a theme in the first quarter, as the Seagulls shot 5 of 7 from 3-point range. Four different players made 3-pointers for Everett.
On the other side, the Mavericks were setting up on offense with four guys out on the perimeter and then Charlie White down in the paint. The idea was that they would pass the ball around to get an open jump shot or go low to White for a lay-in. In practice, it didn’t quite work out. Lots of passes were intercepted by the 2-3 zone put out by Everett, and the Mavericks shot 0 for 6 from the 3-point line in the quarter. The Seagulls went on an 8-0 run and held a 17-7 lead with a minute left in the quarter, but Eyasu Mulugetta made a putback to end the run before the quarter ended. Everett had a 17-9 lead going into the second quarter.
The second was a complete role reversal. Griffin Over started it off by hitting a 3 to cut the deficit to 17-12. That started an 8-1 run. With 5:30 left to play, Braxton broke free from his defender, caught a pass and immediately went up for a 3. He swished it, and the Mavericks took a 20-18 lead. Back the other way, Juarez managed to make a floater over the outstretched arm of Perkins to tie the game back up, but the Mavericks weren’t done yet. They went on an 8-0 run to make it 28-20, with almost all of their points stemming from one simple play: instead of having the perimeter players stay still in the corner, they were ordered to start cutting in through the zone. This led to lots of easy lay-ins and then eventually much more open 3-point attempts. The Mavericks shot 5 of 7 from beyond the arc in the second. After this outburst in the second quarter, they would not make another 3 all game.
On the other side, the Seagulls were struggling to beat the Meadowdale defense. Perkins came in and plugged up the middle, and though they had a lot of open jump shots, they missed almost all of them. Everett ended up going 0 for 4 from the 3-point line. Chacon made two free throws with 3:30 to play, and those were Everett’s last points of the first half. Meadowdale came right back on a 12-0 run, consistently burning the Seagull defense for easy buckets. The Mavs held a 40-22 lead after the second quarter.
The third quarter started out with the two teams trading buckets, but after White drove along the baseline and hit a reverse lay-in to give the Mavs a 46-36 lead, the Seagulls went on a 10-0 run. The run came from a combination of the Seagulls finally making their jump shots and Meadowdale failing to finish in the offensive end. Neither team changed their basic strategies on offense, the Mavericks hit a dry spell and the Seagulls found some life. The 10-0 run ended after a couple of free throws by Meadowdale late in the quarter. Free throws weren’t as big of a problem as they have been for Meadowdale on Friday; they shot 14 of 25, which was better than average. Those free throws helped keep them in a comfortable lead. The quarter ended with the Mavericks up 49-36.
Chacon started the fourth the same way Popach started the first: with a 3. That started a 6-0 run which allowed Everett to close to 49-42. That run was ended by Landon Hopkins, when he made a tough drive through the Seagull defense and hit a lay-in. Two minutes later, White did the same exact thing, but was fouled while doing so. He missed the free throw, but Meadowdale took a 55-44 lead with 4:30 to play after the basket. The dagger was stuck in Everett’s back when Barrett Carlow drove past everyone, was fouled while making the lay-in, and made the free throw. That brought the score to 58-46 with 3:30 left, and despite Everett’s best efforts, they could not catch up.
With the win, the Mavericks improve to 2-4 in the league and 8-5 overall. Meadowdale hosts Oak Harbor at 7:15 p.m., Friday, Jan.17.
— By Quint Turner