Mountlake Terrace Hawk Khyree Armstead hit the basketball court Tuesday with a new haircut and a renewed desire to be a leader on his Terrace squad. Something clicked as Armstead and the Hawks steamrolled the visiting Oak Harbor Wildcats 73-40 Tuesday night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Armstead had 20 points to lead the Hawks in scoring, but the emotional spark provided by the 6-foot-3 junior may have been more substantial. After shooting just four-for-15 from the field and scoring nine points in the first quarter, the Hawks needed something to ignite their effort against the lowly Wildcats, winners of just two of 11 games.
With 6:35 to go in the second quarter, Armstead stole a Wildcat pass, drove to the hoop and slam dunked the ball with his right hand. The result of the crowd-pleasing play was Terrace taking their first lead of the night 15-13, a lead they would never give up, and grabbing the game momentum.
While Armstead didn’t give credit to the victory or his second quarter slam dunk (he added another dunk late in the third quarter) to his new haircut, he did insist that he won’t be changing the new look anytime soon.
“I just wanted to try some new stuff with my hair and I think I like it,” he said with a smile. “We won by 30 with this; I’ve got to keep it going.”
“He could dye his hair rainbow as far as I’m concerned; just go out there and play like that,” Terrace Coach Nalin Sood said after the game.
Armstead was more prepared to give credit for the victory to a stronger team work ethic, something he addressed with the squad prior to the start of the matchup with Oak Harbor.
“I just told them we’ve been playing pretty bad last two games,” Armstead explained. “But I told them to just come out with intensity. If we work hard and if we just out work the opponent, we’re going to come out on top no matter what.”
Even with the Armstead second quarter dunk and subsequent 12-0 run, the Hawks led by just four points 28-24 at halftime, But with a smothering full-court press to open the second half, Terrace forced Oak Harbor into committing eight turnovers in the quarter and took control of the game.
The Hawks outscored the Wildcats 31-11 in the third quarter to secure the victory.
Sood liked the way his players performed coming out of the halftime locker room. “I thought they had good energy with what they did defensively; they got after it,” he said.
“Coach (Al) Shannon (Mountlake Terrace assistant coach) brought up the fact that we had 42 positive defensive plays – steals, deflections and blocked shots,” Sood continued. “I think to be successful 20 to 25 is good, so 42 is a really good number.”
Terrace (3-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 5-6 overall) also benefited from having Brock Davis on the court in the second half – Sood had kept the 6-foot-3 senior on the bench during the first half.
“He just had to clean some things up,” Sood said of Davis. “But the bottom line is what he did in the second half. We was a hard guard for them and he made as much a difference in that basketball game as anybody. I’m looking forward to starting him Friday night (at Meadowdale).”
Davis scored 11 points in just 16 minutes of action on Tuesday; other Hawks in double figure scoring included Sean Kirk with 15 points and Zeke Tomas with 10 points.
Oak Harbor (0-5 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 2-10 overall) was led by the 14 points of JJ Mitchell. The Wildcats were hindered in Tuesday game when starting guard Adam Nelson went down with a right ankle or foot injury with 1:56 to go in the first quarter; the senior did not return.
The Hawks will return to game action on Friday, Jan. 13, when they face the Meadowdale Mavericks at 7:15 p.m. at Meadowdale High School.
Prep Boys Basketball: Oak Harbor at Mountlake Terrace, Jan. 10
Oak Harbor 11 13 11 5 — 40
Terrace 9 19 31 14 — 73
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Khyree Armstead 20, Sean Kirk 15, Brock Davis 11, Zeke Tomas 10, Brendan Hayes 8, Keegan Grayson 3, Mason Peterson 2, Joey Gardner 2, Connor Williams 2, Max Hull
Oak Harbor individual scoring: JJ Mitchell 14, Weston Whitefoot 6, Ty Baker 4, Gavin Allen 3, Joseph Arinaza 3, Kevin Schuldt 2, Haven Brown 2, Adam Nelson 2, Ozell Jackson 2, Gabe Salinger 2, Justin Ellison
Records: Mountlake Terrace 3-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 5-6 overall; Oak Harbor 0-5 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 2-10 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Meadowdale, Friday, Jan. 13, 7:15 p.m. at Meadowdale High School
–By Doug Petrowski