The Edmonds-Woodway boys came into Friday night’s basketball game against Mariner looking to build up momentum before the upcoming district playoffs. The Warriors raced to a 16-3 lead to start the game and never looked back, going on to beat the Marauders convincingly 62-34. The win keeps E-W solidly in second place heading into a showdown against third-place Kamiak next Tuesday. “We’ve been building all season,” said head coach Steve Call. “We’re getting close to being right where we want to be.”
The Warriors’ first nine points were scored by the “TBs,” Travis Bakken and Tate Budnick. Bakken made three buckets down low and Budnick hit a 3-pointer. Jason Smarr then entered the game and scored the next eight points, with two 3-pointers sandwiched around a lay-in. Mariner made a free throw but the Warriors scored the last five points of the quarter, ending the first with a 21-4 lead.
The second quarter saw Edmonds-Woodway continue to build on its lead, with Brady Edwards and Smarr each scoring five points out of the gate, stretching the lead to 32-7. Mariner made three baskets before Chukwuma Okereke and Bakken both scored for E-W sending the Warriors into halftime comfortably ahead, 36-13.
Mariner came out of the break more aggressively, and scored the first six points. Bakken answered with a couple of baskets inside and Jordan Rice converted a fast break feed from Budnick to slow the momentum. Budnick hit a 3-pointer late in the third, putting the Warriors up 47-19 after three.
Ryan Mendoza made the first two baskets of the fourth quarter for Mariner, pulling the Marauders within 20 points, but then Smarr stepped in and put the game away, hitting his fourth and fifth 3-pointers of the night as well as two bank shots, single-handedly outscoring Mariner 10-2. The visitors answered with a bucket before Budnick closed out the scoring for the Warriors with a 3-pointer, sending E-W home with a 28-point victory.
Smarr led the scoring attack for the Warriors, finishing with 23 points, making five of seven from 3-point range. He also had six rebounds. Bakken was next with 14 while also grabbing eight boards and blocking two shots. Budnick contributed nine points and also led the team with eight assists. Trey Holland was held scoreless, but distributed five assists, mostly to Bakken. “I was happy with how we shared the ball,” said Call. “We do well when we share.”
Rice scored two points and had three blocks. Okereke also scored two points and pulled down seven rebounds, six on the offensive end. Mendoza led Mariner with nine points.
The Warriors are 9-4 in conference with two regular-season games left. Tuesday’s game at Kamiak presents an opportunity to clinch second place and the first-round home game that comes with it. Also next week is Senior Night on Thursday against Cascade. Both games start at 7:15 p.m.
Warrior scoring: Holland, Rice 2, Edwards 6, Budnick 9, Sherrill 2, Lebesis 4, Smarr 23, Bakken 14, Okereke 2
— By Jeff Smarr