Although the 2014-2015 prep basketball season doesn’t tip-off until November, the roundball teams of Mountlake Terrace High School are hard at work now; both the boys and girls Hawk teams are in action this weekend at local summer tournaments in preparation for their upcoming winter seasons.
The MTHS boys squad is competing at the 2014 Rider Classic, a 20-team tourney being held at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. After facing Sammamish on Friday night, the Hawks hit the courts on Saturday for games against Franklin at 1:20 p.m., then Redmond at 3:30 p.m. Games continue on Sunday.
Coach Zach Wilde and his Hawk girls squad have the luxury of playing at home this weekend as Mountlake Terrace High School is one of four sites hosting games in the Edmonds Summer Shootout, one of the largest girls basketball tournaments in the state. Thirty-six varsity teams began play Friday night; the tourney continues on throughout the weekend.
The Hawks fell to Inglemoor on Friday afternoon and must face a tough Kennedy team Saturday at 10 a.m. But wins and losses aren’t as important to Wilde as the experience his young squad will gain from being in the tourney.
“For us, this weekend, it’s huge because a lot of these girls are eighth graders, freshman and sophomores that haven’t played against varsity teams,” Wilde explained. “It’s really good for us to get out here and play against that competition.”
Terrace lost a number of key performers due to graduation this spring; Wilde is hoping that summer competition will help develop some of his younger players and help his veterans learn new roles.
“For our seniors like Riley (Zucker) and Shi (Shaian Pagaling), you get out here and (learn) to be leaders,” Wilde said of the summer experience. “We’ve played ten games in the last week already – this was number eleven – and Riley’s already got better in those ten games there than she got all last season. That’s great; that’s what we need next year. Shi’s doing her thing, and the other girls are stepping up.”
The squad is entered into a number of summer weekend tournaments this year, in addition to playing in a prep league at Edmonds-Woodway High School. “We’re playing a lot of games,” Wilde said.
One notable absence from the Hawk team this summer is Samantha Romanowski, the 5-10 shooter who led the team in scoring the past two seasons. The soon-to-be-senior is spending the summer playing with her club team and preparing for workouts with prospective college programs.
Terrace would certainly be more competitive on the court this summer if Romanowski was in their lineup, but Wilde sees a silver lining with her absence. “It’s great because Sam’s not here; I mean I would love to have her, but the rest of the girls are having to play without her – and they’re getting better,” he said.
Wilde hinted that Romanowski may announce her college choice this November; “I don’t know where that will be, but there are a lot of school’s interested,” he added.