It doesn’t get any better than this in Class 3A girls basketball, at least on paper.
No. 1 Lynnwood (10-0) takes on No. 2 Glacier Peak (12-0) tonight (Wednesday) at Lynnwood at 7:15 p.m. with plenty on the line.
Bragging rights? Sure, and there’s a history between these two programs. But most importantly the winner will have a leg up in the heated race for heated race for the WesCo 3A South title, which also includes No. 10 Edmonds-Woodway (10-2).
Lynnwood (3-0 in league play) throttled E-W 80-45 just last Friday. Glacier Peak (4-0) has a big week with the Warriors in the wings this Friday. Edmonds-Woodway (3-1) owes its other loss to No. 6 Bishop Blanchet in a nonleague contest.
It’s the first meeting between Lynnwood and GP since the 2011-12 season as Lynnwood played in Class 4A the following two years. The Grizzlies knocked the Royals out of the playoffs in that most recent meeting, then lost in the regional round. Earlier in the rivalry, Lynnwood earned a state berth at Glacier Peak’s expense.
“It’s a good rivalry and we’re excited to renew it with them, especially with the success our two teams are having in the regular season thus far,” Lynnwood coach Everett Edwards said in a phone interview. “They’re a very well-coached team and we’re looking forward to a competitive game. It will be a big deal in determining who is going to at least have an edge in terms of winning our WesCo South league and trying to get that No. 1 seed into the district tournament.”
The Royals, who place third in last year’s 4A state tournament, haven’t had many competitive games thus far, even winning the top division at the Nike Interstate Shootout with ease. Their closest game of the season came in early December against 4A Snohomish, a 17-point victory.
Here’s what Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill wrote in an email about the Royals:
“Lynnwood is incredible. What they have been doing to teams all year long isn’t just impressive it’s downright amazing. Their defense is unreal. If you watch them long enough you’ll notice they bounce around the floor like a boxer who dances around the ring then they strike at you when they think they have you cornered, then it gets relentless. They hit you with a left, they hit you with a right and the body blows are more than most can handle so teams turn the ball over and it’s a quick easy 2 for Lynnwood. After they score that just pumps them up more. They are able to go on 4-10 point runs in just a matter of minutes. I know there is only 5 girls out on the floor but it sometimes looks like a mad hornets nest was disturbed by how fast they move and recover. One thing that we (GP) will have to do is to make sure we handle their pressure and take care of the ball. We don’t want to give them any extra scoring opportunities.”
And this about all-state candidate Mikayla Pivic, who is averaging 22.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.3 steals:
“I’d also like to know what planet Mikayla Pivic is from? She is everywhere. She is strong under the hoop as a post she shoots well from outside as a wing and she can drive and finish like a guard. If the ball is in the air there is a good chance Pivic will be there or at least close to there to get the ball. One of the greatest things about Mikayla is she’s likable. You never see her complain, she seems like a good teammate and she just flat out works hard. She seems to do all the things teammates would love but opponents hate. You can’t stop her you can only hope to contain her. We have to really try to slow her down. I don’t know if anyone can stop her for a full 32 minutes.
And this about Jordyn Edwards, the coach’s daughter:
“Jordyn is another big part of their success. Her defense might be the best I’ve seen in high school girls basketball. She is quick and long and reads the floor so well. We need to make sure we just aren’t giving it right to her. She also drives the ball so well so we want to keep her in front of us.”
Everett Edwards praised the efforts of GP’s Sadie Mensing (13.0 ppg) and Kayla Watkins (10. 6) in particular.
“Mensing is an issue inside,” he said. “She’s kind of like a Mikayla Pivec regarding the rebounding and toughness and effort.”
Paisley Johnson (12.6) has also been key for the Grizzlies. Note that the scoring averages do not include the two games GP played in Spokane over the holidays, at this point.
Edwards pointed out that the Grizzlies like to shoot 3-pointers as well and can score in transition, which is Lynnwood’s style. He said tonight’s winner will likely be the team that commits fewer turnovers and makes the best defensive adjustments.
I’ll be there to see how it plays out, so be sure to follow along @SandyRinger1.