On a night where the Mountlake Terrace High School boys basketball team honored their seniors and their families, the Shorecrest Scots crashed the party and spoiled the Terrace celebration, defeating the Hawks 53-47 Monday night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
The Hawk lost sets up a Mountlake Terrace-Glacier Peak showdown on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7:15 p.m. at Glacier Peak High School, with the winner of the match-up claiming the Wesco 3A South Conference crown and the No. 1 North seed in the upcoming 3A District 1 tournament later this month.
Mountlake Terrace will head to Glacier Peak coming off its weakest performance of the season with the Scots winning soundly on the Hawks’ home court. “The way we played tonight was pretty disappointing,” Terrace Coach Nalin Sood said. “That was the worst effort of the year. And that was the most unprepared we’ve been, so that’s on me also.”
“We didn’t have guys collectively bring it tonight,” Sood added. “Shorecrest has been playing well. We knew what their strength was and we we’re good enough to compete against that strength and overcome it.”
After the Hawks jumped out to a 9-5 lead, they started getting sloppy on offense, turning the ball over five times in six straight possession, leading to Shorecrest taking a 13-11 lead. After the two teams battled close throughout the second quarter, the Scots’ Conin Oishi hit a three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the half, giving Shorecrest a 22-20 lead at halftime. The Scots would never give up that lead.
“We shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers,” Sood explained. “They had four turnovers for the night, we had 15. That’s been the Achilles Heel for us all year. We score as many baskets as they do; they got a few more free throws but it just came down to not taking care of the basketball. When you don’t take care of the basketball you never get in a rhythm offensively.”
Terrace’s top scorers, seniors Greg Bowman and Loren Lacasse, struggled with their shooting. Bowman scored just nine points in the game; Lacasse was held to his season low of three points. Sophomore Gabe Altenberger led the Hawks in scoring with 13 points.
Shorecrest featured a balanced scoring attack, with no Scots scoring in double figures. Nine Scots played in the game, with all nine contributing to the scoring sheet. “That’s how it’s been all year,” said Shorecrest Coach Brian Fisher. “We’ve got nine guys who come to play. Everybody pitches in here and there. We just play hard for each other, and whoever has a good night scoring is that guy for the night. They just play really well together.”
After a 6-6 start, the Scots have now won seven in a row. “We’re on a little bit of a roll,” Fisher stated. “We beat some other teams and we felt like we had a lot of momentum coming into this game. We thought we could probably get it, and sure enough, the guys played great. They hung in there the whole game. Terrace is tough; they’re hard to rebound against. We just fought and trapped the whole game and let guys made plays. Outstanding.”
With just one more game in the regular season, both Shorecrest and Terrace are assured spots in the eight-team district tournament which begins Feb. 11. But while the Scots will be heading into the postseason on a high, Sood is concerned about his Hawks. “If we don’t get it fixed, it’s going to be a hiccup of a postseason,” Sood said of his squad’s uneven offense attack. “We need to get better handling the basketball, plain and simple.”
MTHS Boys Basketball vs. Shorecrest, Feb. 3
Shorecrest 9 13 16 15 — 53
Terrace 9 11 10 17 — 47
MTHS individual scoring: Gave Altenberger 13; Greg Bowman 9; Toel Tekle 6; Matthew Moisant 6; Isaiah Green 4; Yonnas Tewolde 4; Loren Lacasse 3; Derek Anyimah 2;
Shorecrest individual scoring: Masamba Njadoe 9; Conin Oishi 9; Aaron Kelly 9; Daniel Ghebremichael 7; Benny Ortega 7; Drew Magaoay 5; Connor Hyppa 3; Zach Lawson 2; Alex Hofstrad 2
Records: Mountlake Terrace 9-3 in Wesco League, 14-5 overall; Shorecrest 7-5, 13-6
MTHS next game: versus Glacier Peak, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 7:15 p.m. at Glacier Peak High School
— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski