Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
On a team that seems to take turns as to who will shine brightest on any given night, it might be time for Mountlake Terrace junior Loren Lacasse to get some of the spotlight again.
After easily dispatching Marysville-Getchell and Oak Harbor in district play, Lacasse and his Hawk teammates will take on the Stanwood Spartans this Saturday, Feb. 16, in the 3A Northwest District Basketball Tournament championship game at Jackson High School. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Lacasse is averaging 11.7 points per game for the 20-2 Hawks, but it’s Lacasse’s work ethic that has impressed Hawk Head Coach Nalin Sood most this season. “Loren is such a worker and he’s a young kid and he’s getting better and better,” Sood said. “He’s fluid with his post moves. There’s a high level of athleticism and coordination – he’s got his post moves down. It’s a credit to him; he’s just worked and worked. He’s a workhorse.”
Lacasse agrees that he has improved as the season has progressed. “I was struggling finishing in the first half; I think I’m doing better in the second half,” he said.
Lacasse admits he has been working on his low post moves, noting that it’s been a focus during practice. And on the defensive side, the 6-5 junior often finds himself matching up with the big guys on opposing teams for some physical play under the boards, something he doesn’t mind. “Yeah, I like the physical play,” he said.
It’s Lacasse’s willingness to put in the work practice after practice that has made him such a valuable part of the team, Sood said. “And Loren, if he doesn’t have a good practice, he’s going to find a way to get back into the gym and get better.”
The team has had nothing but practices this week as they prepare for Stanwood on Saturday. Win or lose, the team is already guaranteed a spot in Region IV competition on Feb. 23, and may be destined to make its second straight appearance in the 3A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome, this year set for Feb. 28-March 2.
Saturday’s district championship game against the Spartans will be broadcast live on the Hawks Live Sports Network on MLTnews.com.