The Marysville-Pilchuck boys basketball team, which is undefeated in league play, hosted their crosstown rival Marysville Getchell Chargers in one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the season on Jan. 31.
From the tip-off, the Tomahawks used their length on defense to keep the Chargers along the perimeter and worked the ball inside on the offensive end. Over the first half of the quarter Marysville-Pilchuck generated a slight lead on a 14-8 run. After the slow start, Marysville Getchell bounced back with better ball movement and drew fouls to match the Tomahawks the rest of the way, 8-8, as they entered the second quarter down 22-16. Through the rest of the half the Chargers found a rhythm and outscored the Tomahawks 11-5, as their star guard Malakhi Knight scored six of their 11 points. Entering halftime both teams were back at square one, tied 27-27.
The Tomahawks came out in the second half with renewed energy as they pushed the pace and used their athleticism to score inside and outside. Over the first four minutes of the half they outscored the Chargers 12-7 to extend their lead to 39-34. Over the final few minutes of the third quarter Marysville Getchell inched back to a one-point deficit before Marysville-Pilchuck’s Cameron Stordahl hit a three-point buzzer beater to end the quarter up 47-43.
In the final quarter neither team was going to allow easy points. The Chargers made up the ground early as they tied up the game, 49-49, with 5:30 left on the clock. They continued to go back and forth with tough shots made all over the court as they were tied once again, 53-53, with 2:44 left. Over the final few minutes the Tomahawks were able to hit just a couple more shots as they walked away with the 61-57 victory over the Chargers.
“There’s something to say about a rivalry game and it’s a unique game when you have the entire city out there. We have so many great players and the key to our success is teamwork and balance. We do what we can to put them in the best position possible, but at the end of the day we have guys that can make plays,” said Marysville-Pilchuck Head Coach Bary Gould.
The Tomahawks relied heavily on their senior forwards and center Aaron Kalab, Cameron Stordahl and Ethan Jackson. Kalab dominated inside as he led the team with 18 points, six rebounds and one assist. Stordahl was right behind the team-high with 16 points along with three three-pointers, three assists, three rebounds and one block. Jackson was the final double-digit scorer for the Tomahawks, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and a block. Stordahl and Jackson are currently playing their second year at Marysville-Pilchuck after transferring from Marysville Getchell following their sophomore season.
Pilchuck’s senior guard duo of Luke Dobler and Brady Phelps organized the offense and played smart on both ends. Dobler filled the stat sheet scoring nine points, one three-pointer, two assists, five rebounds and a steal. Phelps was able to contribute with a game-high six assists, four points, four rebounds and two steals.
“It’s been an uphill battle for us at Marysville Getchell in terms of everyone buying in and people believing in what we have going on. We’ve had a lot of pain in our program over the last couple of years, but I think we came out tonight to show we have a lot of pride and a lot of heart. I’m really proud of them and wish we could have seen them play it out at the end,” said Marysville Getchell Head Coach Corby Schuh.
Malakhi Knight, junior guard, had an incredible performance on both ends of the floor, while seeming to score at will. He scored a game-high 34 points with two three-pointers while going four-for-four at the line. Knight filled out the rest of his stats with three assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
The Chargers had a great supporting cast in Josiah Koellmer, Austin Townsend, Alex Owens and Will Dunn. Koellmer, junior guard, was the only other player to hit double-digits wit 10 points, three three-pointers, for assists, one rebound and two steals. Townsend, junior forward, scored four points with one assist, two rebounds and one steal. Off the bench Owens, junior guard, and Dunn, senior forward, combined for nine points, two assists, seven rebounds and a steal.
The Tomahawks will only have one game left at home this season as they will take on another top team in the Stanwood Spartans on Monday, Feb. 10, at 7:15 p.m. Marysville Getchell’s next home game will be against the Snohomish Panthers on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7:15 p.m. as they battle for a late season run.