Mariner rebounds with key win over Cascade | Girls basketball
Mariner got back on the winning track quickly.
Two days after a tough loss to Jackson, senior Zaria Smith scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Marauders to a 51-35 victory over Cascade in a Wesco 4A girls basketball game Feb. 3 at Cascade High School.
“She did a really nice job of being aggressive and taking the ball to the basket,” Mariner coach Corey Gibb said. “She hit a couple of 3s. That helped open things up in the middle.”
The Marauders (5-8 in the league. 8-11 overall) were scheduled to close out the regular season against Glacier Peak on Wednesday, Feb. 8, after the Beacon’s deadline. Regardless of the outcome, Mariner is the league’s No. 5 seed to the district tournament and will play the Timberwolves at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9 at Jackson High School.
The 65-51 loss to Wolfpack on Feb. 1 turned out to be somewhat costly for Marauders, which might have been able to host the first round district playoff contest had they defeated Jackson. Mariner previously beat the Wolfpack in their first meeting of the season.
Gibb was disappointed that the Marauders seemed to lack intensity in the Jackson game.
“We didn’t come out ready to play,” he said. “We didn’t come out ready to go.”
Mariner fell behind 18-10 but managed to close the gap to 25-21 at halftime. Jackson then extended its lead to 45-37 by the end of the third quarter and continued to hold the advantage the rest of the way.
“They ran some nice sets,” Gibb said. “Our defense wasn’t what it’s been the last couple of games. They were able to get some easy shots.”
Smith scored 17 points and junior Hannah Hezekiah added 12 points.
Mariner didn’t come out strong in the third quarter, Gibb said. “You can’t give up 20 points and come out and expect to win. You’ve got to get stops somewhere. You can exchange baskets. If you’re exchanging baskets, you’re not cutting into the lead.
“We didn’t get some stops that we needed.”
The Marauders did come out strong against the Bruins, jumping to an 11-6 lead after the first eight minutes and increasing the advantage to 27-15 at halftime. Mariner then outscored Cascade 12-6 in the third quarter.
“The girls did a nice job of executing,” Gibb said. “It was good team defense. We were much more aggressive on both ends of the floor.”
Mariner double-teamed Cascade’s Kharial Clark, who still managed to score a team-high 13 points. Clark wasn’t as much of a factor on the boards as she was in the two team’s first contest.
“We did a much better job of blocking her out than the first time,” Gibb said. “Overall, it was a much better effort by us.”
The winner of Thursday night’s game faces league champion Glacier Peak (13-0, 18-1) at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11 at Snohomish High School.
This is Mariner’s second straight district appearance.
“It’s going to come down to 32 minutes of consistent effort and focus on both ends of the floor,” Gibb said of Mariner’s playoff prospects. “We have to do all the little things like blocking out, attacking and being in the right position on defense.”