The Edmonds-Woodway Warrior basketball team went into Saturday’s match-up with tournament host Bothell with two goals: To win, or at least stay close to the powerhouse Cougars and also try to slow down Bothell’s ferocious big man, Josh Martin.
For the first quarter of the game they did more than that, outscoring the Cougars 20-8 and limiting Martin to four points. Jason Smarr continued his offensive run, scoring 10 with Travis Bakken adding six. So far, so good. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Bothell responded strongly in the second quarter and for the rest of the game en route to an eventual 68-50 win in the semi-finals of the Bothell Holiday Classic.
The second quarter was really the turning point, as Bothell coach Ron Bollinger made two adjustments. First, he switched to man defense, limiting Smarr and Bakken’s touches, and second, he took advantage of the Warriors’ zone defense, turning to the three-pointer, which his team was particularly adept at making. The Cougars made 7 three pointers in the quarter, with sophomore Hunter Dean hitting three in a row. E-W, meanwhile struggled to even get an open shot, with only single baskets by Jordan Rice, Brady Edwards, Theo Lebesis, Smarr and Bakken. The Cougars dominated the quarter, 28-11, heading to the half with a 36-31 lead.
The third quarter saw neither team get much going offensively, and the Warriors managed to stay close. Midway in the quarter, following a couple of steals and lay-ins, E-W pulled within four, 43-39. Following a time-out, the Cougars finished out the quarter on a 5-0 spurt, giving them a 9 point lead.
The fourth quarter was too much for the Warriors. Martin, as the big-man, began to have his way and the worn-out Warriors saw their deficit become gradually insurmountable. The final 18-point margin was not a true indicator of how close the game was. Martin led all scores with 24, ten of those late in the game, after the game was mostly decided. Dean added 17 for the Cougars. Smarr finished with 16, with only four of those after the first period, and Bakken added 12, only two of which game in the second half. The loss ends E-W’s two game winning streak and sends them to the 3rd place game, Monday at 7 p.m. against Shorecrest.
Edmonds-Woodway: 20 11 8 11-50
Bothell: 8 28 10 22 69
Warrior Scoring: Holland 2, Dankwa 1, Rice 9, Edwards 2, Budnick 2, Polovina 2, Sherrill, Lebesis 4, Smarr 16, Bakken 12, Okeke
— By Jeff Smarr