In order to extend their playing time in the District 1 3A Boys Basketball Tournament, the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors would have to duplicate a feat they accomplished less than four weeks prior: defeat the Shorewood Stormrays on the Stormrays’ home floor.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, they couldn’t repeat the winning effort that they had back on Jan. 12.
This time, Shorewood turned aside the E-W squad 62-56 in overtime in a loser-out contest Wednesday.
With the defeat, Edmonds-Woodway (10-11 overall) saw its time in the tournament — and the team’s 2023-2024 season — come to an end.
Wednesday’s clash was tight throughout and featured numerous ties, including 28-28 at halftime and 50-50 at the end of regulation. But Shorewood ruled in overtime, dominating the paint and sinking free throws during the extra four minutes.
Stormrays senior Nathaniel Burkell grabbed a pair of key offensive rebounds and turned them into four points in overitime while teammates Abel Mehari and Jaden Marlow converted eight of 10 free throw attempts to propel the team to the win.
Edmonds-Woodway coach Robert Brown pointed to an inability to box out and keep the Shorewood big men off the boards as one of the decisive differences.
“We didn’t do the fundamental things we told them that we needed to do to win the game,” Brown said.
Burkell led all scorers with 22 points; the big 6-foot-5 post player also pulled down nine rebounds for the Stormrays. Mehari added 21 points for Shorewood (14-8 overall) while Marlow contributed 12 points.
Aiden Johansen led the Warriors with 13 points and William Alseth added 12.
While E-W sank four 3-pointers on Wednesday, Brown noted it was well below their average of long-range buckets in a game.
“We weren’t great from 3-point range tonight and that’s one of the things that we kind of hang our hat on, making open threes,” Brown said. “We couldn’t make those.”
A key miss from beyond the arc came in the final nine seconds of regulation as Johansen had a chance to win the game for the Warriors, but his shot attempt was short.
“Aiden got a good look and it just didn’t go in,” Brown said of that potential game-winning shot. “Even Julian (Gray) got the rebound; he had come down with it and had a chance to make a lay-in. (Gray’s putback was no good.) We had our opportunity.”
The Warriors’ late-game misfortune was exasperated in the overtime period as Brown felt an offensive possession was mistakenly taken away from his team.
The Warriors were called for a 30-second shot violation with 54.1 seconds remaining in overtime after the shot clock was reset following a scramble for a loose ball. Despite the shot clock never reaching zero, the referees ruled that E-W failed to get a shot off in time and awarded the ball to Shorewood.
“It’s not the reason we lost the game,” Brown said. “(But) it’s just a frustrating thing that happened at a really inopportune time during the game.”
The Stormrays would score on the subsequent possession on a Burkell baseline drive with 26.2 seconds remaining, increasing Shorewood’s lead to 60-54 and putting the game out of reach.
Edmonds-Woodway walked away from the Shorewood gym back on Jan. 12 with a 54-51 victory, but had to settle for a season-ending defeat in the rematch on Wednesday.
After the loss, Brown expressed mixed emotions about his team that overachieved this year with a 10-10 regular season record and an appearance in the postseason district tournament as the No.9 seed.
“You can look at it as the glass is half-full,” Brown recollected about the Warriors’ season as a whole. “These guys improved over the season. They were young, they were hungry, they wanted to compete — not a lot of experience at the varsity level at all.”
“Somebody told me, we were projected to finish 13th in the league; we didn’t do that,” Brown said. “I think we were a little bit better, but we know as coaches and as players we just left too many games out there on the court.”
To view the entire District 1 3A Boys Basketball Tournament bracket, click www.wpanetwork.com/wiaa/brackets/tournament.php?act=view&tournament_id=4236.
Shorewood 62, Edmonds-Woodway 56
Edmonds-Woodway 15 13 6 16 6 – 56
Shorewood 13 15 10 12 12 – 62
Edmonds-Woodway individual scoring: Aiden Johansen 13, William Alseth 12, DJ Karl 9, Julian Gray 8, Grant Williams 8, Cabriel Cavalier 6, Luke Boland, Andreas Simonsen
Shorewood individual scoring: Nathaniel Burkell 22, Abel Mehari 21, Jaden Marlow 12, Thomas Moles 3, Evan Butler, Eli Cady 2, Max Nguyen
Records: Edmonds-Woodway 10-11 overall; Shorewood 14-8 overall
Edmonds-Woodway next game: 2023-2024 season completed.
— By Doug Petrowski