By Doug Petrowski
The Mountlake Terrace boys basketball team will be returning to the WIAA 3A State Tournament in Tacoma after a 63-53 victory over the Foss Falcons Saturday night at Glacier Peak High School. The tournament begins on Thursday; the Hawks will learn their first-round opponent and game time following a draw on Sunday afternoon.
The Hawks overcame a slow start in the loser-out regional game as Foss ran out to a 10-2 lead four minutes into the game. Terrace then outscored the Falcons 31-14 over the next 12 minutes, taking the lead for good early in the second quarter.
Hawk Head Coach Nalin Sood wasn’t too concerned with his team’s poor start and a 10-7 deficit after the first quarter. “Last time I checked there’s still 28 minutes of basketball. Not having a great start, it doesn’t matter. You still have 28 minutes,” Sood said. And what turned it around? “The guys got in a rhythm. They made some shots,” he answered. “If you have a bad start hopefully you can hang your hat on defense, which we do, and stay in it. Then once you find your rhythm, make some shots, and that’s what we did. The first four (minutes) we didn’t start well, but the last four (minutes) I thought we finished well.”
Terrace needed a strong finish as the Falcons climbed back to within five points, 47-42, with 6:48 to go, and again at 58-53 with 1:47 to go. The Hawks made seven of eight free throw attempts in the four quarter, and controlled the boards with nine rebounds compared to just four for Foss in the final eight minutes to ensure the victory.
After shooting just 23 percent in the first quarter, the Hawks lit it up in the second, connecting on five of seven shots behind the three-point arc and shooting 47 percent from the field as a whole. Senior Jesse Zerom hit three long-range treys and scored 14 of his 15 points for the game in the second quarter.
Foss’ season scoring leader Dezmyn Trent, averaging 26.9 points per game, was in the Falcons’ starting lineup, but came out after just 1:05. Trent had been injured in practice on Friday, receiving a deep thigh bruise during a three-on-three rebounding drill. “I give him all the credit,” Foss Head Coach Mike Cocke said of Trent’s effort to play. “He’s the toughest kid.”
Trent’s absence from the regional game was recognized by Sood also. “I know he’s disappointed, but I told him after the game his career is not over. That kid — we’re going to hear about him,” he said. “I wish he would have played. You want to beat the best, and he’s one of the best players. They’re a formidable team without him; with him, obviously they’d even be better. That’s the unfortunate breaks of the game and I mean that sincerely.”
Without Trent, Foss relied on Tamariye Nelson for 18 points; Jericho Ballard added 16. The Hawks were led by the 18 points of Marquis Armstead. Greg Bowman added 15 points, all in the second half.
Mountlake Terrace quarter scoring: 7 – 26 – 14 – 16 – 63
Foss quarter scoring: 10 – 14 – 16 – 13 – 53
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Marquis Armstead 18; Jesse Zerom 15; Greg Bowman 15; Blake Fernandez 11; Loren Lacasse 4; Michael Lotz; LeTrae Sarden
Foss individual scoring: Tamariye Nelson 18; Jericho Ballard 16; Olashawan Miller 12; Chris Reynolds 4; LaQuante McHenry; Dezmyn Trent