Boys basketball: Warriors edge Mount Vernon 55-54

warrior-logoEdmonds-Woodway’s boys basketball team did just enough Thursday night and came away with a one-point victory over Mount Vernon, winning 55-54 at the E-W gym. Tate Budnick hit two free-throws with eight seconds left, allowing the Warriors to re-take the lead. The Bulldogs had a chance to win it, but Justin Morrison’s fade-away at the buzzer didn’t touch the rim and Theo Lebesis secured the rebound and the win.

The Warriors started their 10th different lineup and E-W was able to build an early six-point lead. The lead extended to 17-9 before Mount Vernon’s Chris Bell hit a 30-footer as the first period expired, trimming the lead to 17-12 after the first quarter.

Miles Witt came alive for Mount Vernon in the second quarter, scoring 12 for the Bulldogs, almost equaling the 13 points the Warriors scored as a team. Jason Smarr had six in the quarter for E-W, but Mount Vernon was able to close the gap to one as the teams headed to half-time with the Warriors up 30-29.

Both teams struggled to score in the third quarter, with E-W’s first basket coming at the halfway mark. Moments later, Budnick hit a three, extending the lead to 37-34. The Warriors fell behind again before Antonio Sherrill stole the ball as the third quarter was winding down and drove for what would prove to be a missed lay-up, but Brady Edwards alertly banked in the follow as time expired, giving the Warriors a one- point lead heading into the fourth.

On Mount Vernon’s second possession of the fourth period, Sherrill again stole the ball and this time was able to convert the lay-in, giving the Warriors a five-point lead, 45-40. The Bulldogs bit back, scoring six straight, capped by Casey Leek’s free throws. The Warrriors stayed close and with just over a minute left, Budnick somehow was able to get through the Mount Vernon defenders for a driving lay-in, putting the Warriors up 53-50. Leek answered for the Bulldogs, closing it to a one-point game.

Freshman Trey Holland was fouled out top, but missed both his free throws, giving the ball back to Mount Vernon with 35 seconds left. Miles Witt backed the Warriors’ big men down, converting a nice jumper that put MV back ahead. Budnick penetrated again, was fouled and calmly hit the free throws. Following a Bulldog timeout, the Warriors’ defense forced Morrison into an awkward shot, which he missed, giving E-W a much needed win.

Statistical leaders for the Warriors were Smarr, who finished with a game-high 15 points along with five rebounds. Budnick was next with 12 points and 5 assists. Theo Lebesis had 10 and also contributed five boards. Travis Bakken was held to six points, but did grab eight rebounds. The team only committed eight turnovers, a significant improvement over recent games.

The Warriors are now 5-3 in conference with a two-game lead over third-place Kamiak. Lake Stevens comes to town Friday for a 7:15 p.m. start.

Warriors Scoring: Trey Holland 4, Brady Edwards 6, Tate Budnick 12, Antonio Sherrill 2, Theo Lebesis 10, Jason Smarr 15, Travis Bakken 6, Chukwuma Okereke, Jordan Rice

— By Jeff Smarr

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