Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Triton Women's Hoops Stuns No. 6 Everett

LYNNWOOD -- Edmonds CC women’s basketball came out on fire early against North region foe Everett CC on Saturday, and stunned the No. 6-ranked Trojans 73-70. It was a fitting end to the home portion of the schedule, playing in front of the largest crowd of the year. The Tritons jumped out to a 16-1 lead midway through the first quarter, and did not relinquish that lead until 3:46 was left in the fourth quarter when Everett took their first lead of the game, 64-63. 

Freshman Hailey Carlson
It looked as though the Trojans would complete the comeback – Edmonds was up by 28 points at one point – but the Tritons showed resilience, fighting back to close out the victory with some key stops and big shots. Caitlin Rojas nailed a trey that stopped the Trojans’ momentum, and put the Tritons back on top for good, 67-65. Ryan Terry made two free throws with 35 seconds left that extended the lead to five, and Zaria Smith’s two freebies iced the game with 8 seconds on the clock.

Smith has been the bona fide scorer for the team all season (averaging 17 ppg), and she again led the Tritons with 23 points in the win, but the emergence of Hailey Carlson has been a major reason for the squad’s recent surge. Carlson scored a season-high 22 points and added 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists. The return of Ryan Terry has also given the team a boost. In her third game back after injury, Terry chipped in 7 points and was 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Head coach Eric Ensign reflected on the win. “Our girls were focused from the beginning and did a great job of executing our game plan. Everett came back in the second half when we started to get tired, but we were able to keep our composure at the end of the game, which has been tough at times with such a young team,” he said. Ensign didn’t take much time to enjoy the win. Shortly after the upset, he was back on the recruiting trail headed to Tacoma to watch games.

Edmonds, who picked up their second league win of the year against Everett, has three more regional tilts – all on the road – to close out the 2018 campaign. This week the ladies are at Whatcom (6-16, 1-8 North) Wednesday, and Peninsula (5-16, 3-6 North) on Saturday. Edmonds has five wins this year, the most since the 2012-13 season. Watch Wednesday's game at Whatcom here.

Men's Basketball: Huge matchup looms at Whatcom Wednesday

LYNNWOOD -- The end of the NWAC North Region men’s basketball slate is near, and with it, a tight race for playoff berths has ensued. Edmonds gave Everett all they could handle on Saturday, but in the end couldn’t stop the Trojans from winning their 10th straight game. Seaview Gym saw a highly contested game, and a large contingent on hand to support both teams as well as honor nine Triton sophomores who were playing in their final home game. 

Zach Walton netted a game-high 29 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and had 5 assists, and 2 steals. Loren LaCasse also registered a double double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and point guard Raven Frazier scored a season-high 20 points for the Tritons. Edmonds led for much of the contest, but fell 100-93. Walton’s 20.4 points per game is ninth-best in the NWAC, and his 9 rebounds per game are sixth-best in the league overall.

The Edmonds CC men’s hoops team now travels to Bellingham on Wednesday, February 21 to clash with Whatcom for what could be the game that decides the final spot to Everett for the NWAC Championship Tournament. Whatcom defeated the Tritons in an earlier face-off this season on January 24 in Seaview Gym. The Orcas pulled away late in the game, topping Edmonds 93-88. Both squads are 5-6 in the standings -- the winner of Wednesday’s game can take control of their own destiny in the final two games of the season. With a loss, Edmonds risks losing the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Orcas. 

Sophomore Rotash Mattu
Whatcom’s Trazil Lane and Alex Martin each notched 20-point games against Edmonds in the first meeting, but it may have been the bench production of Tevin Bayne (16 points) and Donavan Sellgren (12 points) that did the Tritons in. Edmonds won the battle of the boards 46-38 in the first matchup, but only shot 37.7% from the field compared to Whatcom’s 45.9%. The Orcas also took advantage of better free throw shooting in that contest even though the Tritons had seven more attempts.

It is no secret that sophomore Zach Walton makes the Tritons go, but the recent play of big man Rotash Mattu has given the team a boost on the defensive end of the floor. In Wednesday’s road victory over Shoreline, Mattu blocked 4 shots in addition to scoring 8 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Against Everett, Mattu grabbed 9 rebounds and swatted 6 more shots. Another key factor for success will ride on the sharp shooting of Jake Higgins and Tyler Morris. Both specialize in launching the three ball, and both will be counted on down the stretch to hit that shot when it is presented to them.

Whatcom is also coming off a tough Saturday loss after dropping a double overtime thriller to Olympic, 113-112. Alex Martin scored 39 points in a losing effort. The rest of the NWAC North schedule on Wednesday: Olympic at Everett; Peninsula at Skagit, and Shoreline at Bellevue. The Tritons Wednesday showdown at Whatcom tips off at 7:00 p.m. The game will be live-streamed here.