Proving that beating a team three times in a season is never easy, the Edmonds-Woodway girls basketball team went to overtime, but came away with the victory, beating Monroe 57-52 at Mountlake Terrace High School to claim the 3rd seed in the District 1 playoffs. The girls now return home to host Eastlake Saturday night with a bid for the State 4A tournament on the line.
Missy Peterson, E-W’s freshman forward, made two free throws with seven seconds left in overtime, giving the Warriors a five-point lead to seal the victory. “This is what we’ve been waiting for since the start of the season,” said Peterson. “Playoffs.”
Trailing 29-21 at half-time, the Warriors came out of the locker room strong, not only eliminating the deficit, but pulling ahead after the quarter, 36-35. Peterson scored five points in the third, with a 3-pointer and a steal followed by a coast-to-coast drive in the lane for a banker to end the period. Also in the third quarter, Natalie Kasper returned to form, also scoring five; Kate Wooley had a steal with a bucket, and Moni Jackson had a pair of baskets, highlighted by a spinning jumper near the foul line.
The fourth quarter saw E-W start to pull away, jumping to a 48-41 lead with just under 4 minutes left in the game. Five different Warriors scored in the run, including a pair of free throws by Maddy Nealey. Monroe fought back and took the lead on a 3-pointer by Deidra Miller with just over a minute left. Following a Warrior miss, Miller made one of two free throws, extending the lead to two. Monroe was able to corral the rebound, but was unable to score. With 23 seconds left, Peterson was able to weave through traffic, making the bucket and knotting the score at 50. Sidney Eck stole the inbounds pass and following a E-W timeout, the Warriors failed to convert. Monroe’s Miller missed a shot at the buzzer and it was onto extra-time.
The first two minutes of OT saw neither team score, including the Bearcats’ Jadynn Alexander, who missed two free throws. Kasper broke the ice with a basket for E-W. After another Monroe miss, Eck was fouled and made one of two, extending the lead to three. Jackson added another free throw, but Amber Van Brunt scored for Monroe and the lead was down to two. Fouled with 11 seconds left, Peterson hit the free throws and E-W breathed a sigh of relief as Monroe was out of time and the Warriors got the win.
“We came in confident, hit shots and stepped up our defense,” said Warrior coach Rebekah Wells. “The girls believe in each other.” Added Eck, “We’ve been waiting for this game forever,” referring to being eliminated by Monroe last year. “I can’t wait for Saturday.”
Peterson and Jackson led the Warriors in scoring with 13 apiece, followed closely by Kasper with 12. Eck, in foul trouble all night, still managed eight points and seven rebounds. Miller led the Bearcats with 16 points.
The Warrior girls will play the second game of an Edmonds-Woodway doubleheader Saturday night, with the tip-off at 7 p.m. at the EWHS gym. The E-W boys play at 5 p.m. that same evening. Both games will also be broadcast live on the Sound Live Sports Network.
Warrior Scoring: Wolley 4, Burdett 6, Eck 7, Kasper 12, Nealey 2, Jackson 13, Peterson 13.
— By Jeff Smarr