The last time they met on the basketball court, the Mountlake Terrace boys basketball team was thumped by Shorecrest 70-32 on Jan. 9. The 38-point defeat was the worst for Mountlake Terrace this season, and the occasion was not forgotten.
With memories of their first matchup serving as motivation, the determined Hawks jumped out to a strong start against the Scots in their rematch Tuesday night at Mountlake Terrace High School, building a 17-11 lead after the first quarter. But Mountlake Terrace’s resolve couldn’t maintain an advantage for 32 minutes, and the Hawks eventually succumbed to the Scots 53-45 in a Wesco 3A South tilt.
The victory pushed Shorecrest’s league record to 7-3, 11-7 overall; Mountlake Terrace fell to 3-7, 5-13.
In addition to holding a lead at the end of the first quarter, Mountlake Terrace led at the half and at the end of three quarters. But a Brantle Harris 3-pointer 29 seconds into the fourth quarter put Shorecrest on top 37-36, a lead they would not give up the rest of the way.
Harris led the Scots in scoring with 16 points, nine of which came in the final period. “Harris played really well; he kept us in it. That was pretty big for us,” Shorecrest Coach Brian Fischer said.
Once playing with a lead, Shorecrest was able to keep the Hawks at bay down the stretch, forcing a couple of key turnovers and converting six of seven free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
Mountlake Terrace Coach Nalin Sood found a number of reasons why his squad didn’t pick up the win. “It’s the little things. We knew Harris could shoot and we didn’t get out – we didn’t close out on him. We missed a couple shots; we had some turnovers. When you add those three things up – missing some easy shots, the turnovers and letting a guy get some shots that we know can shoot – and that’s the difference in the basketball game. It’s such a fine line between being successful (or) going home with a loss.”
Mountlake Terrace’s fourth quarter crumple came after one of their best starts to a game this season. Hawk Gabe Altenberger scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half and hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter. Teammate Derek Anyimah added a 3-pointer of his own, converting a desperation jumper from behind the 3-point arc as the first quarter buzzer went off.
“We were playing for a lot of pride; we were playing to earn some respect,” Sood said of his team’s start.
Fischer was also impressed with the way the Hawks begun the game against his Scots. “We were hoping to come out with a little more urgency,” he said. “We probably didn’t execute our game plan as well as we would have liked to at the beginning. But I do think Mountlake Terrace came out really strong. They did a great job countering us.”
“They hit their threes off-the-bat and that kind of put us on our heels. It took us a little while to bounce back,” Fischer added.
The win kept Shorecrest in second place behind Glacier Peak in the Wesco 3A South and assures the 2A team will be playing in the postseason. For Mountlake Terrace, the loss puts the squad in danger of missing the 3A District 1 postseason tournament for the first time since 2008. The Hawks have two games remaining in their regular season, Feb. 6 vs. Meadowdale and Feb. 10 at Shorewood, and must win both for a chance to qualify as the No. 8 seed in the district tourney.
“We’re still playing for something,” Sood said.
Prep Boys Basketball: Shorecrest at Mountlake Terrace
Shorecrest 11 9 15 18 — 53
Terrace 17 5 14 9 — 45
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Gabe Altenberger 16, Derek Anyimah 10, Shimron Masih 6, Ali Shah 5, Daniel Johnson 5, Joey Gardner 2, Justin Hopkins 1
Shorecrest individual scoring: Brantle Harris 16, Malcolm Rosier-Butler 10, Philip Pepple 8, Chris Lee 7, Aubry Victor 4, Drew Magaoay 2, Tobyn Lawson 2, Simon Acker 2, Davis Strand 2
Records: Mountlake Terrace 3-7 in Wesco 3A South, 5-13 overall; Shorecrest 7-3, 11-7
Mountlake Terrace next game: vs. Meadowdale, Friday, Feb. 6, 7:15 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School (to be streamed live on the Sound Live Sports Network)