After a frigid first quarter, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks turned up the heat and the intensity, recovered from the cold start, came from behind and walked away with a 61-49 victory over the Shorecrest Scots in a Wesco League boys basketball tilt Friday night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
With the win Terrace takes over sole possession of first place in the Wesco League South conference with a league record of 4-0, 9-2 overall.
The Hawks missed their first seven shots of Friday’s game before converting their first shot from the field, a Gabe Altenberger layin, with 2:58 to go in the first quarter. Then after a long three-pointer by Shorecrest’s Malcolm Rosier-Butler made the score 14-4 with 1:38 to go in the first, the Hawks began to turn their game around and get back into contention for a win.
After trailing by 10 points, Terrace pulled to within three points late in the second quarter, then took the lead for the first time at 41-39 with 1:39 to go in the third quarter. It was a lead that the Hawks would never relinquish.
Terrace Head Coach Nalin Sood was pleased with the push for improvement showed by his squad throughout the matchup.
“As a coach, yeah, I wish we could start better, but I’m sure glad we’re not saying ‘I wish we could finish better,’” Sood said.
“We’ll talk about it and try to get better, but maybe that’s the catalyst, the motivation, the hot iron in the back side that’s getting these guys going to go play three good quarters of basketball,” he continued.
It was on the defensive end of the court that Sood noticed a big effort out of his squad. “The kids got motivated to go play good defense and they did a good job,” he said. “It’s a real credit to them.”
Shorecrest shot just 18.5% (5-for-27) from the field in the second half Friday night.
On the offensive end, senior Gabe Altenberger shot 9-for-12 from the field, converted his only free throw and led the Hawks in scoring with 22 points. But it was junior Joey Gardner who supplied the emotional spark during the second half that saw Terrace outscore the Scots 34-16 to secure the victory. Gardner scored 12 of his 14 points after halftime and pumped up his teammates with fearless play.
“He just played with tremendous confidence tonight,” Sood said of Gardner. “He didn’t have a good first quarter, and average kids (might) succumb to that and just hope to get better on Monday; but motivated, confident, kids that have that mental tough attitude will get better as the game goes and they’re figure what they need to do. Joey just did that. He didn’t have to wait for a whole weekend, he got better as the game went on.”
The Scots were led in scoring by Rosier Butler with 13 points, 11 of which came in the first half. The junior guard went 0-for-4 from the field and 2-4 from the free throw line in the second half.
The Hawks will shoot for their tenth win of the season on Tuesday, Jan. 12, when they host the Meadowdale Mavericks; tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m.
In other MTHS action on Friday, the girls basketball team didn’t fare as well, losing to the girls squad from Shorecrest 69-33. The Scots’ Wurrie Njadoe scored 22 points in the victory; Terrace was led by the 10 points of Claire Zucker.
Prep Boys Basketball: Shorecrest at Mountlake Terrace, Jan. 8
Shorecrest 19 14 6 10 — 49
Terrace 10 17 19 15 — 61
Mountlake Terrace scoring: Gabe Altenberger 22, Joey Gardner 14, Derek Anyimah 11, Shimron Masih 8, Khyree Armstead 4, Carson Dallas 2, Gabe Powter, Daniel Johnson
Shorecrest scoring: Malcolm Rosier-Butler 13, Philip Pepple 12, Tobyn Lawson 10, Chris Lee 6, Ben Smolen 4, Aubry Victor 2, Dagmawe Menelik 2, Simon Acker, Steven Lin
Records: Mountlake Terrace 4-0 in Wesco League South play, 9-2 overall; Shorecrest 3-1 in Wesco League play, 7-5 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Meadowdale, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 7:15 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School
Prep Girls Basketball: Mountlake Terrace at Shorecrest, Jan. 8
Terrace 6 13 6 8 — 33
Shorecrest 12 18 16 23 — 69
Mountlake Terrace scoring: Claire Zucker 10, Jorie Lambert 9, Jazmine Zenk 8, Aynika Nuckles 4, Nohea Morrison 2, Trinity Prout, Eliza Sandoval, Torry DeAlba, Brianna Houtman
Shorecrest scoring: Wurrie Njadoe 22, Julia Strand 14, Jazlyn Owens 11, Shelby Gresch 7, Sheridan Stephenson 7, Ari Rantz 6, Ronna Iverson 2, Uju Chibuogwu
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-4 in Wesco League South play, 2-9 overall; Shorecrest 2-2 in Wesco League South play, 7-5 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Meadowdale, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 7:15 p.m. at Meadowdale High School
-By Doug Petrowski