Pivec Leads Lynnwood to State Title Over Defending Champs
By Steven Dion
|Saturday- March 7||2015||Girls||3A||State|
Championship Saturday at the Tacoma Dome tipped off with a matinee of the 3A girls title game with 2-time defending champs Cleveland and newcomer to the classification recently from 4A in the Lynnwood Royals. It was a remarkable accomplishment that Coach Redd led the Eagles to the final in her first year with the program and major turnover of the roster. Similarly, Coach Edwards has put together a powerhouse that appears to have the pieces to return to the TDome for years to come. The Eagles knocked off familiar foe Bishop Blanchet to earn a spot in the championship game while the Royals took down Bellevue in the semis. In a clash of old guard against the new kid on the block, which squad would raise the hardware?
Lynnwood’s versatile wing Mikayla Pivec kick-started her monster game early by scoring the first dozen points for the Royals which included crafty turnaround jumpers in the paint. Her rebounding prowess was also shown in the opening quarter as the path to a double-double was paved early. The Eagles countered with Aqeelah Williams who continued to heat up as the first half moved along. Pace of play increased in the second quarter and Cleveland benefitted as Jayde Christopher controlled the game speed nicely. Back to back triples by the Giavanni Flowers and Williams pushed the Eagles lead to 27-19 at 2:45 which prompted a Royals timeout. LHS used the remaining minutes of the first half to cut the deficit in half and return to the locker room with a 29-25 score in favor of Cleveland.
When play restarted, Lynnwood used a 6-0 run in under three minutes to make another lead change of the contest in which there were four. This proved to be a turning point in the game because Cleveland went on a major scoring drought which lasted the entirety of the second half. Shots rimmed out and with each miss seemed to dash the confidence of the Eagles. A field goal percentage of 16% in the final sixteen minutes of the game put CHS’ fate in the balance. Lynnwood’s 12-4 scoring edge in the third quarter put them in a good position to secure the victory.
Jordyn Edwards and Kelsey Rogers maintained the Lynnwood momentum by using their defensive pressure to set up offensive production. The pair combined for six defensive rebounds, five steals, and four blocks to keep the high-flying Eagles at bay. Leading 44-36 with a shade under four minutes to go, Cleveland needed a spark.
Myla Hightower answered the call by willing her team to rally and extend the contest. The bulk of her nine points were scored late to cut the margin to a two possession game. A few more defensive stops could make things interesting. However, Pivec eliminated any chance of a comeback by converting on back to back possessions with tip-ins under the cup. These baskets quelled any chance of Lynnwood relinquishing their lead and helped the Royals run the clock down. Before the clock hit triple-zeros, Coach Edwards checked Monty Cooper in who sprained her ankle the day before. The senior limped onto the court and found a spot twelve feet from the basket. In the waning seconds, she received the rock and took the hoisted the final shot of the game. Swish! Lynnwood storms the floor as one of their leaders ends her high school basketball career in a perfect way. The Royals are the new 3A champions.
The Final Score: Lynnwood 54 Cleveland 42
Mikayla Pivec-31 points, 17 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists
Aqeelah Williams-14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals