By Doug Petrowski
With a 20-3 record, a Wesco championship and a runner-up finish at districts, the Mountlake Terrace boys basketball team has just one challenge left to overcome for a berth in the WIAA 3A State Tournament: the Foss Falcons.
The Hawks and the Falcons will face off on Saturday, 4 p.m., in the first of two winner-to-state games at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish. Stanwood takes on Franklin in the nightcap immediately following the Mountlake Terrace – Foss game.
Hawk Head Coach Nalin Sood had nothing but good things to say about the team’s opponent on Saturday night. “As with the other 15 teams in the tourney, they are plenty good,” Sood said earlier this week. Sood called the Foss lineup “quick and athletic,” and singled out Falcon senior Dezmyn Trent as “their best player, very versatile and skilled.”
Foss (18-6) finished the season in second place in the NL Three A Division of the Narrows League, just behind the state’s second-ranked 3A team, Lincoln. “They play in a tough league and district, so they are battle-tested,” Sood said.
The Lincoln Abes were a common opponent for Foss and Mountlake Terrace this season. Foss lost twice to Lincoln, 66-57 on the road and 74-73 on their home court. The Hawks were beaten by Lincoln 60-59 at Highline Community College on Dec. 8.
Sood believes his team is ready for Saturday’s match-up, partly because of the tough non-league scheduled they have played this year. “Playing Lincoln and Fairfax, I would hope would help us in our preparations for Foss, but it is a new game, a new team and we must simply rise to the occasion and play a good game to make it to the round of eight,” he said.
Tickets for Saturday’s regional games are $10 for adults and students with no valid ASB card, and $8 for students with ASB, seniors 62 and over, and children 5-11. The game will be broadcast live on the Hawks Live Sports Network on MLTnews.com starting at 3:45 p.m.