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Originally published January 10, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 10, 2009 at 9:52 AM

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Prep Basketball | WesCo Boys: Meadowdale gets past Jackson, 60-55

Methodical Meadowdale shot 72 percent and held off undermanned Jackson 60-55 in a WesCo South boys game.

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MILL CREEK — They're grinders. Call them methodical Meadowdale.

Rarely does 10th-ranked Meadowdale of Lynnwood blow opponents out. The Mavericks grind them up possession by possession, and keep coming with precision execution.

Roger O'Neill scored 21 points and Connor Hamlett added 16 and the Mavericks rode 72-percent shooting to a 60-55 triumph over undermanned Jackson Friday night at Jackson High School.

Meadowdale (7-1, 7-0 league) kept pace with Mountlake Terrace as the only unbeaten boys basketball teams in the WesCo South. The Mavericks secured the win by sinking 11 of 16 free throws in the final 2:57.

Nothing fancy. Forever fundamental.

"We preach possession and taking care of the basketball," said O'Neill, who sank 5 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to help the Mavs to their seventh win in a row. "Some teams like to get up and down. We like to take care of the ball and get high-percentage shots."

The game was the first for Jackson since losing star sophomore guard Brett Kingma to a broken left arm in Tuesday's 46-41 win at Lynnwood.

The 6-foot-2 Kingma, who already has several major scholarship offers, was the third-leading scorer in WesCo at 20.1 points per game before the season-ending injury, which required surgery.

Kingma sat on the bench with a cast on his arm and seemed in good spirits, even dribbling a basketball before slapping fives with teammates in pregame warm-ups.

"We wish he was playing, because we want it to be a challenge," Mavs coach Chad McGuire said of Kingma. "We want to get ready to play against good players later on."

Jackson lost another starter, Bryan Koch, to an ankle injury a week ago.

The Mavs are led by 6-4 senior guard O'Neill, the brother of Kristen and Kellie, former University of Washington women's standouts. O'Neill entered the game fifth in WesCo at 18.3 points per game, but the Mavericks are hardly a one-man show.

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Hamlett, a 6-7 junior and Meadowdale's main inside presence, added 16 points. Meadowdale shooters were 21 of 29.

"One thing I like is we got multiple people involved. It was a good team win," McGuire said.

The Mavs made 15 of 23 free throws in the second half and finished 19 of 29 from the line.

Still, Jackson had a chance to force overtime late in the game. When O'Neill missed a pair of free throws with 13.6 seconds left, it gave the Timberwolves and opportunity. But junior Ryan Todd's three-point attempt went off the rim and Meadowdale rebounded. Hamlett sealed the victory after a foul and two free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining.

Todd had a game-high 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting for Jackson.

Meadowdale plays at home tonight at 7:30 against Mariner in a snow makeup game. The game was originally scheduled for Dec. 19.

The Mavericks host Terrace in a showdown that likely will be for the WesCo South lead next Thursday.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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