Story and photos by Doug Petrowski
Fans had a feeling that the battle between Mountlake Terrace and Glacier Peak for the boys 3A Wesco South regular season title would be epic. After a high-flying first half that saw four ties and four lead changes, those feelings were being confirmed. The crowd was ecstatic for the Grizzlies’ long-range three-pointers and a Greg Bowman slam dunk for the Hawks. But the victorious team would be determined not by offensive heroics, but by hard work at the other end of the court.
“It came down to defense,” said Hawk Head Coach Nalin Sood.
Terrace tightened up its pressure on Glacier Peak in the second half and came away with a 51-43 victory on Thursday night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
The Hawks held the Grizzlies to just five points in the third quarter; during an eight-minute stretch that began at the 5:38 mark of the third period and extended into the fourth, the Grizzlies only scored two.
“The guys just clamped down,” Sood said of his team’s second half defensive effort. “We don’t do a lot of things with smoke and mirrors. We just go out there and play tough man-to-man defense. Each kid’s got to have self-accountability and stop their guy.”
“It’s just a credit to the kids that they want to go out and play man-to-man defense,” Sood continued. “They want to check hard. If they get scored on they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t happen next time. You got to have competitive kids who want to fight, that want to play defense. If you have those things you’ve got a chance.”
Mountlake Terrace led by one at the half, 26-25, then broke the game open by pulling ahead 39-30 with 3:10 to go in the third. The Hawks led by as many as 12 points in the fourth. The Grizzlies got as close as seven points, 46-39, with 2:05 to go in the game, but hurt their chances of getting any closer by going 0-4 from the free throw line in those final two minutes.
With the win, Terrace finishes the regular season at 12-1 in Wesco league play, 18-2 overall, and grab the No. 1 South seed in the 3A Boy District 1 Basketball Tournament. Glacier Peak ends the season at 10-3 in the league, 16-4 overall, and is the South No. 2 team for districts.
For the Hawks, the double-elimination district tourney begins with a home game on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m. against the North No. 4 team, Marysville-Gretchell (5-8, 7-13). Tickets are $6 for adults and students with no ASB card, $4 for students with an ASB card and seniors 62 and over.
In the other district match-ups, Glacier Peak will play host to Ferndale (5-7, 8-12), Shorewood (9-4, 14-6) must travel up to Oak Harbor (7-6, 11-9), and Stanwood (12-1, 15-5) will play at home against Shorecrest (4-9, 10-10).
Mountlake Terrace quarter scoring: 16 – 10 – 13 – 12 — 51
Glacier Peak quarter scoring: 16 – 9 – 5 – 13 — 43
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Greg Bowman 14; Blake Fernandez 13; Loren Lacasse 11; Jesse Zerom 6; Marquis Armstead 5; Michael Lotz 2; LeTrae Sarden
Glacier Peak individual scoring: Dreu Vader 14; Zach Pederson 13; Ramsey Rosales 9; Ty Kjellesvik 4; Austin Kiser 2; Mitchl Pohrman 1; Trey Chambers