A game that was expected to be an epic battle turned out to be little more than a light skirmish as the Meadowdale Mavericks had to face the Shorecrest Scots without one key soldier.
The Mavericks, playing without leading scorer Fatoumata Jaiteh, were overwhelmed by the Scots 59-29 in a Wesco League girls basketball contest played Thursday at Shorecrest High School.
Jaiteh, the Mavs’ starting post player, watched the game from the bench after twisting her right ankle at a team practice on Wednesday. Although the junior was given clearance to play, Meadowdale coach Arie Mahler chose to hold her back from Thursday’s game.
“She definitely wanted to play,” Mahler said. “She felt like she was letting her teammates down, that maybe she wasn’t gutting through. So I said well, that’s on me; I said you let me talk to the team. I said where we are right now is it’s more than just one game — the postseason is on the horizon.”
“Had this been a postseason game she would have played,” Mahler stated. “But we have goals of trying to go further this year and hopefully play another four, five, six, seven, eight, nine games, so I need her healthy.”
Without Jaiteh’s scoring ability in the paint and defensive presence in the lane, the Mavericks were no match for the Scots (8-1 in Wesco League play, 14-1 overall and No. 5 in the 3A state RPI rankings). Shorecrest held Meadowdale to just two points in the first quarter, led at halftime 25-10 and kept the Mavs off the scoreboard completely in the third quarter.
It was only in the fourth quarter that the Mavs showed any consistent offensive prowess, scoring 19 of their 29 points in the final eight minutes.
“I told them we’re just going to play for pride and we’ll live to fight another day,” Mahler said of his team’s late surge.
The one bright spot in Thursday’s game for the Mavs was Lilly Williams going 2-for-2 from behind the 3-point arc, giving the senior 203 three-pointers in her prep career, a new Meadowdale school record.
With the loss, Meadowdale (8-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 12-5 overall) dropped into a third-place tie with Snohomish in the 3A Wesco League standings. The Arlington Eagles hold down the top spot with Shorecrest moving up to second place after Thursday’s win.
The Mavs have three games remaining in their regular season schedule, beginning with their home finale on Tuesday, Feb. 4; the Senior Night game against Lynnwood will tipoff at 7:15 p.m.
Prep Girls Basketball: Meadowdale at Shorecrest, Jan. 30
Meadowdale 2 8 0 19 — 29
Shorecrest 10 15 17 17 — 59
Meadowdale individual scoring: Lilly Williams 10, Kaisha Stark 7, Jenaly Gabriel 5, Alicia Morrison 4, Soriah Swinton 2, Silja Knutsen 1, Maia Austvold, Ava Powell, Nicole Dallas, Jordan Leith, McKenna Kuecker
Shorecrest individual scoring: Kiana Lino 17, Amanda Lee 10, Sydney VanNess 9, Taylor Svendsen 8, Leila Hosn 7, Maura Weaver 7, Jordan Tikalsky 1, Alexa Svendsen, Mila Friesch, Romy Nevens
Records: Meadowdale 8-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 12-5 overall; 8-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 14-1 overall
Meadowdale next game: versus Lynnwood; Tuesday, Feb. 4; 7:15 p.m. at Meadowdale High School
— By Doug Petrowski