High school basketball is a winter sport, but Mountlake Terrace girls basketball coach David Brophy is working this second weekend of June with his team. Brophy will be leading the Hawks as they compete in the Edmonds School District Summer Shootout, the largest girls basketball tournament in the state.
The Hawks open the tournament Friday at 6 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School against Issaquah.
Brophy is using the tournament to help the team gain some valuable experience. “Our young girls need to continue improving away from our regular season,” Brophy said. “Our practices to prepare for the tourney help with our offensive and defensive strategies.”
Last season’s girls basketball team was made up of mostly underclassmen, with just one senior graduating from the squad this June. The Hawks struggled to a record of 4-12 in a mostly senior-dominated league. “We were clearly the youngest and least experienced team in Wesco 3A,” Brophy said.
While the experience that will be gained this weekend is big, Brophy knows it comes at a price. The Summer Shootout crams at least four games for each team into three days, so just having a full bench of players is vital. Earlier in the week Brophy wasn’t even sure who would be available for the Hawks.
“We’re still not sure how many girls are playing with weekend, so then we have to have our girls play more than we’d like,” Brophy said. “With fewer girls playing more, that cuts into our plan as far as how we’d like to play on offense and defense.”
The tournament is important for another reason: “It’s our number-one fundraiser,” Brophy said. While ticket sales go to the tournament organizers, all concession sales at MTHS go to the school’s Sports Booster Club, which divides the profits among the various sports programs.
Tourney games are scheduled all weekend at Mountlake Terrace High School, in addition to Lynnwood, Meadowdale and Edmonds-Woodway high schools.
The tournament has attracted some top programs, including a few conference champions and squads that made state tournaments. Teams compete in pool play Friday night and Saturday. Single-elimination bracket games begin Sunday morning, with the tournament championship game scheduled for 5 p.m. at Meadowdale High School.