Mavericks struggle in loss to Scots | Girls basketball
Senior Williams sets school record for 3-point shots
Last updated 2/6/2020 at 11:09am
Meadowdale knew it faced significant challenges when leading scorer Fatoumata Jaiteh went down with an ankle injury the day before a key game against Shorecrest.
The Mavericks fell behind 25-10 at halftime.
Any hopes for a second-half comeback, however, faded quickly in a nightmarish third quarter that saw the Scots outscore Meadowdale 17-0.
The Mavericks finally got some shots to fall in the fourth quarter, but it was far too late and Shorecrest easily prevailed 59-29 in a Wesco 3A girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 30, at Shorecrest High School.
Meadowdale coach Arie Mahler noted that Jaiteh received medical clearance to play in Thursday's contest and, had it been a playoff game, she would have suited up.
But with a week to go in the regular season, Mahler wasn't going to take any chances with the junior center.
"I'm not going to risk it," he said.
Jaiteh tried to convince Mahler to let her play.
"We have goals of trying to get further this year and hopefully play another four, five six, seven, eight, nine games," Mahler said. "I need her healthy."
Mahler told the team that he was concerned with more than just one game.
"The postseason is on the horizon," he said. "We're only a week away. So we're looking at the big picture."
The Mavericks held their collective breaths when Jaiteh hurt her ankle during the Wednesday practice.
"The gym went silent," Mahler said.
The same could be said of the Meadowdale offense, which was outscored 10-2 in the first quarter by the Scots, who were seeking a little payback after the Mavericks (9-3 in the league, 13-5 overall) eliminated them from the district playoffs last year.
"Offensively, we just had no rhythm tonight," Mahler said. "I thought defensively, we stayed with them for a good portion of the first half and then we just couldn't hang with them that much longer."
A putback basket by junior Kaisha Stark cut the Shorecrest lead to 13-10 midway through the second quarter. The Scots (10-1, 16-1) then went on a 12-0 run to close out the period.
The absence of Jaiteh enabled Shorecrest's Kiana Lino to dominate inside with a game-high 17 points and 19 rebounds. Meadowdale simply had no answers.
"We had trouble down low with rebounding and boxing out," Mahler said. "Their post gobbled up all the boards she could find."
Meadowdale had plenty of opportunities in the first three quarters but struggled inside, outside and everywhere in between.
"That's kind of been our M-O the last couple of games," Mahler said. "We are having some real struggles getting our shots to fall and I'm not just talking 3s, although we have our struggles there right now. But just point blank, we're just kind of struggling, and I think a lot of that is we're rushing."
Stark and senior Lilly Williams each scored 7 points. Williams broke the school record with a pair of 3-point goals during the game. She now has 203 3-pointers for her career, the most in Meadowdale history.