The Spartans learned a lot from their first loss of the season.
Stanwood rallied back from a 16-point deficit but couldn’t seal the deal in a 56-48 loss Dec. 21 at La Conner, the No. 1-ranked 2B girls’ basketball team.
The Spartans succumbed to La Conner’s defensive pressure, which forced several backcourt turnovers that led to some easy buckets.
“We learned that we want to make sure we value every possession,” head coach Alex Iverson said.
Despite the miscues, Stanwood clawed back from down 13 at halftime to close the gap to 46-42. But a corner 3 by La Conner stymied the Spartans’ momentum.
“We battled back, and we were right there,” Iverson said. “That was huge.”
The Spartans were led by Vivienne Barrett (20 points, 9 rebounds), Ava Cook (10 points, 6 rebounds) and Grace Walker (8 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals).
The following day, Stanwood outpaced Shorewood to take the home game 54-31 and improve to 5-1 on the season.
“We took better care of the ball,” Iverson said of the league victory. “We were being more patient with our passes and reads.”
The Spartans were in more of an attack mode Wednesday, Iverson said. Stanwood only attempted four free throws against La Conner, but got to the line 10 times against Shorewood.
“We needed to be more aggressive toward the basket,” he said. “We need to attack the rim and create our offense.”
The Spartans jumped out to a 17-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. Stanwood was powered by Berrett (16 points, 9 rebounds), Tatum Brager (13 points, 4 assists) and Cook (10 points, 6 rebounds).
“It feels like we haven't hit our stride,” Iverson said.
Stanwood hits the road for the next several games. The Spartans travel Jan. 3 to face Lake Stevens and visit rival Arlington on Jan. 8.
Editor's Note: The Spartans' games at the Lakewood High tournament on Dec. 29 were cancelled.