By Steve Powell
EVERETT – For the first time ever, both Marysville-Pilchuck and Marysville Getchell are going to state in boys basketball.
M-P repeated as district champions by beating Shorecrest Saturday 68-55.
MG advanced for the first time by beating Meadowdale, also Saturday at Everett Community College, 50-40.
In 2A, despite losing to Lynden Saturday 62-52, Lakewood, rated No. 12, also is advancing to the state regionals and, like MG, must win Saturday at 10 a.m. at Mount Vernon High School. The Cougars will play Franklin Pierce.
MG, rated No. 15 now in the state, will play No. 10 Mount Tahoma at Puyallup High School Friday night at 6 in the regional state playoffs in a must-win game. The winner will play at the Tacoma Dome Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
M-P, rated No. 3, already is going to state at the Dome but they play for seeding against No. 6 Kamiakin Saturday at 2 p.m. at Jackson High School. The winner will play at 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Dome. The loser plays at 9 a.m. Wednesday, also at the Dome.
Saturday, MG started the game off obviously nervous trying to force passes inside, leading to numerous turnovers. They didn’t score until Austin Townsend scored down low at the 4:50 mark, then didn’t score again until Malakhi Knight hit a 3 at the corner after a steal at the the buzzer to make it 12-5 after one quarter.
The second quarter was more of the same with turnovers helping the Mavericks to a 17-5. But the Chargers made a 12-5 run to trail only 22-17 at intermission. Townsend led that rally with two inside baskets and another thanks to an assist from Josiah Koellmer. Knight added two buckets and a free throw.
Townsend continued to stand out to start the second half with a bucket with an assist from Carson Asper and an old-school 3-point play. After Alex Owens came off the bench to hit a 3, Knight’s steal and layup gave MG its first lead of the game 27-26 with 2:41 left in the third. Koellmer finally hit his first bucket of the game on a runner, and Knight scored another layup to put MG up 31-29 after three periods. In the fourth, the Mavs obviously ran out of gas while Koellmer hit a 3 from the top of the key, then drove in for two more. Knight hit a fadeaway jumper in the lane then put MG ahead to stay 41-38 on another top of the key jumper. The Chargers held the Mavs scoreless the final 2:14 while, Townsend and Knight continued to add on points for the win.
Knight, a junior, shot 8-of-12 from the field, scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Townsend added 16, and Koellmer ended up with 7.
“In the first half, we were kind of getting the nerves out still,” Knight told The Herald. “We were kind of flustered and by halftime we came in and made some adjustments. We told ourselves that in the first half we played pretty bad and for us to be down five is a blessing.”
Meanwhile, M-P did an exceptional job passing the ball getting assists on six first-half buckets on the way to a 34-26 lead.
M-P jumped out to a 6-0 lead with Aaron Kalab scoring on a pass from Luke Dobler and Kalab then passing inside to Ethan Jackson. Brady Phelps hit a 3 with Kalab getting the assist, then Dobler hit another 3 and Jackson scored on Phelps’ assist for a 22-17 first-quarter lead. Jackson connected on assists from Kalab and Cameron Stordahl, who then grabbed an offensive board and scored on a put-back shot. Treven Southard came off the bench and hit a 3 for the halftime score.
The teams played fairly even from there, although M-P did expand its margin by a bit.
Also, Lakewood finished second in 2A district play, falling to Lynden. The Cougars took the early lead 16-12 after one period, but Lynden outscored Lakewood 21-11 in the second period to take the lead for good.