The blurry figures running through the agora on the Lynnwood High School campus – those are girls basketball players trying to win a relay.
Ask anybody in the Wesco – or in Class 4A for that matter – and the one thing you have to do if you have chance to corralling the run-and-gun Royals is, well, not letting them run wild.
To keep full steam for 32 minutes, Lynnwood players have to be in tip-top shape – and coach Everett Edwards credited Royals assistant Becky Lewis as the one who gets them in great condition.
Twice a week in the offseason, Lewis – also a Snohomish County deputy and active mixed martial arts fighter – hosted 6 a.m. conditioning sessions at school.
“She is a motivator for our team,” Lynnwood guard Jasmin Edwards said. “She puts us through all sorts of running workouts, but we condition our arms, legs and abs.
“We are all dying, but we love it.”
Fellow team captain Grace Douglas described the relay competitions Lewis stages on campus.
“Our school is a large agora … so we sprint up and back, down and back,” Douglas said. “And she times us.”
The strict conditioning carries into the regular season as well – and players notice its effect.
“In the first half of games, teams can stick with us for the most part,” Jasmin Edwards said. “In the second half when they are winded, we are still going, still moving. That really shows how good a shape we are in as a team.”
Dads were teammates, daughters are opponents
Part of the old gang from Gonzaga basketball will be in the Tacoma Dome on Saturday – former backcourt mates John Stockton (1980-84) and Bryce McPhee (1981-85) – watching the Class 4A girls title game.
It is because their daughters will face each other for the state title.
Gonzaga Prep’s Laura Stockton is a point guard, just like her father. And Mount Rainier’s Brittany McPhee is a scorer, just like her father.
The two met in the 4A third-place game in 2012, won by McPhee’s Rams, 56-51.
“It is a competitive relationship,” Laura Stockton said, describing her interaction with Brittany McPhee. “Our summer teams have played a lot – they’ve won some, we’ve won some. It would mean everything to win a championship now.”
Different era, similar result
Mark Stinson has brought over a few fantastic University High School girls basketball teams to Tacoma, including one that lost in the 4A title game in 2007 to Greater Spokane League rival Lewis & Clark.
This season, the Titans are much different, sporting the worst record (11-15) in the tournament. Yet after beating Mercer Island on Friday, they will play for a state trophy.
“When we beat Kamiakin at regionals to get here, that was our 10th win,” Stinson said. “I told the girls, ‘We got double-digit wins.’ They were like, ‘Yeah, that is 10.’ We were just hoping for one more, and hoping for another one (Saturday).”
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442