While it is still early in the 2016-2017 prep girls basketball season, the Lynnwood Royals showed they have the talent to be mentioned among the area’s top teams.
The Royals ran away from Terrace and grabbed a 67-22 victory in a non-league match-up between the two teams Saturday at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Lynnwood were up 20-5 after the first quarter and never looked back. Kaprice Boston led the Royals with 19 points; teammate Reilly Walsh added 14 points.
Aynika Nuckles was the only scorer in double figures for the Hawks with 10 points in the loss.
The Royals are returning many of the same players that finished third in last spring’s WIAA 3A State Girls Basketball Tournament with two notable exceptions: Mikayla Pivec and Jordyn Edwards, both of whom graduated last June and are now playing Division 1 college basketball. The Lynnwood Royals’ program is also under the leadership of a new coach, Brent Hudson.
Despite the major changes – and new offensive and defensive schemes for the team – Hudson likes the direction his squad is moving.
“(Even) with a new coach and a new system, every game so far we have taken a step forward. And we’re taking the things that are new and we’ve been growing,” Hudson said.
The Royals used a new emphasis on man-to-man defense this season to contain the Hawks Saturday. Terrace’s 22-point output was the lowest in the three games they played during the season’s opening week.
Hudson also shared how he is urging his Royals to look for fast break opportunities on offense this year.
“We’re going to push the ball, so just learning how to get your heads up and look ahead – it doesn’t have to be past the head, but definitely looking ahead and finding that next girl that’s ahead of them – those things we are getting better,” Hudson explained.
Lynnwood lost their first two games of the year by close margins – 50-47 to Kamiak on Nov. 30 and 68-62 to Inglemoor – but their progress during the first week of the season showed against the Hawks.
“Just us jelling together as a team was a huge thing these last three games,” Hudson said. “Obviously we played better tonight.”
“Lynnwood is a tough opponent,” said Mountlake Terrace Coach Jesica Anissipour after the loss. “They did business and took care of it.”
While admitting her starters couldn’t keep up with the starting five of the Royals, saying “We came out super flat in the beginning,” Anissipour liked the play of her substitutes later in the game.
“Watching my bench actually come out and play as hard as they could and do the things that I’ve been trying to get them to do, executing that, I couldn’t be happier with my bench,” Anissipour said.
Both teams have a pair of games during the second week of the season. Lynnwood will next face Mariner in south Everett on Monday, Dec. 5 to open the week, while the Hawks will get their week started when they host Sehome on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Prep Girls Basketball: Lynnwood at Mountlake Terrace, Dec. 3
Lynnwood 20 27 14 6 — 67
Terrace 5 13 2 2 — 22
Lynnwood individual scoring: Kaprice Boston 19, Reilly Walsh 14, Nakia Boston 9, Kelsey Rogers 8, Valerie Bell 8, Taylor Fahey 5, Amayah Kirkman 3, Maddie Morgan 1, Rachel Walsh, Kia Crawford, Kau’I Pi’ilani
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Aynika Nuckles 10, Trinity Prout 5, Jorie Lambert 2, Jazz Zenk 2, Samra Gebrehiwot 2, Eliza Sandoval 1, Kierra Scott, Reagan Stickney
Records: Lynnwood 0-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 1-2 overall; Mountlake Terrace 0-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 1-2 overall
Lynnwood next game: versus Mariner, Monday, Dec. 5, 7:15 p.m. at Mariner High School
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Sehome, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 6:00 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski