Marauders battle top teams | Girls basketball

By David Pan | Jan 04, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Mariner’s Rachael Hendrickson attempts a shot against Stanwood.

Mariner drew what could easily be regarded as the toughest draw at the Mountlake Terrace Holiday girls basketball tournament.

Stanwood and Shorewood  came into last week’s tournament with a combined 15-1 overall record and the two Wesco 3A squads left the tourney with four more wins, including two over the Marauders (4-4).

The Spartans defeated Mariner 70-37 on Dec. 29 and the Thunderbirds prevailed 63-38 on Dec. 30 at Mountlake Terrace High School.

Mariner coach Corey Gibb was more concerned about the big picture rather than the two nonconference losses.

“The biggest thing is we want to play the top teams,” he said. “We want to pay the better teams. The only way to improve is playing against better teams. It was the best draw we could have asked for. They were two top teams.”

The Marauders struggled on offense with junior Hannah Hezekiah the only player to score in double figures – 16 points (Stanwood) and 19 points (Shorewood).

“We missed some shots that we normally make,” Gibb said.

Mariner needs to improve in a number of areas, Gibb said. The Marauders have to block out better under the basket, provide better help side defense for their teammates and need to focus for a full 32 minutes.

“I think it kind of came down to execution and the focus,” Gibb said. “When we play the way we’re capable of, we can compete against anybody.”

The Marauders lacked consistency against the Spartans and Thunderbirds.

“There were times when everybody did their job and then there were times when three people doing their jobs,” Gibb said. “You’ve got to have everybody on the same page.”

The Marauders will be focusing on their positioning for rebounds rather than on the ball or the opponent, Gibb said.

“It’s being able to multi-task,” he added.

Playing during the holiday break is new for Mariner, which did not have any games during vacation last year. Gibb said the Marauders went more than two weeks in December without any contests and the lack of games hurt the team.

“It’s great to get out and play different teams and learn from it,” he said. “We’ll be better because of it.”

During the first week of the break, Mariner beat Ingraham 45-27 in a Dec. 21 contest.

Gibb is looking forward to heading back into league play this week.

“I’m still really excited about this group of kids,” he said. “It’s probably the deepest and most talented team Mariner has had in 15 to 20 years. They have the opportunity to be very special.

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