For the Mountlake Terrace Hawks, a season-opening overtime loss to the Oak Harbor Wildcats may have been seven weeks ago but had not been forgotten by the team.
With revenge clearly on their minds, the Hawks hit the court on Wednesday and gutted out a 45-36 victory over those same Wildcats in a Wesco League girls basketball match-up played at Mountlake Terrace High School.
The Hawks used the memory of their 49-45 loss to Oak Harbor on Nov. 29 as incentive for the rematch.
“We were all kind of mad because of the loss last time,” senior Jazz Zenk said. “The game got really intense. So we all came out with this fire.”
“Our whole goal was to just come out really aggressive tonight because we knew what to expect – we knew that they have gotten a lot better since we played them,” Zenk explained. “But we’ve also gotten better. We had a good idea of what we had to do.”
The Hawks played with an intensity that forced Oak Harbor into numerous mistakes and turnovers throughout the clash.
The aggressive nature of Terrace’s play was best on display when Zenk dove into the Wildcats bench for a fourth quarter loose ball, scattering Oak Harbor players and flattening two folding chairs.
“I was expecting it to hurt really bad, so when I was down I laid there to make sure I didn’t break anything,” she recalled. “Then I realized it was squishy because the (padded) chairs collapsed in the right way. I wasn’t so bad, but it sounded bad.”
Zenk scored five of her 10 points in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory for the Hawks.
Terrace was led by the 13 points of Aynika Nuckles; Nohea Morrison added 11 points. But it was the defensive end that made the difference for the Hawks this time around against the Wildcats.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that if we can take care of business defensively, we’re going to be able to do a lot of damage,” said Terrace Coach Tyler Stracener.
The Hawks held Oak Harbor to just three points in the second quarter and seven in the final quarter on Wednesday. And while Terrace reached the same point total in the rematch as the squad did the first time around (45), the Wildcats were 13 points short of what they scored in their Nov. 29 win.
Stracener noted that team defense has been a focal point for the squad over the past three weeks. “It was nice to be able to see it all come to fruition,” he concluded.
The victory was the first for Terrace after three losses in Wesco League play this season. The Hawks will go for another league win on Friday when they take on the Meadowdale Mavericks; tip-off at Meadowdale High School is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Prep Girls Basketball: Oak Harbor at Mountlake Terrace, Jan. 10
Oak Harbor 12 3 14 7 — 36
Mountlake Terrace 15 9 12 9 — 45
Mountlake Terrace scoring: Aynika Nuckles 13, Nohea Morrison 11, Jazz Zenk 10, Berit Simonsen 6, Skyler Cristelli 3, Trinity Prout 2, Michaela Ollivierre, Lydia Prelow, Kierra Scott, Reagan Stickney, Allison Reyes-Davies, Kaiya Beavin
Oak Harbor scoring: Jasmine Ford 14, Mia Littlejohn 8, Delija Cammon 6, Mikhaela Cortez 5, Sam Hines 2, Miranda Wilson 1, Kia Ceya, Olivia Waite, Leni Aguilar, Emily Gouge, Jordan Wood-Pina, Sarah Mensah
Records: Mountlake Terrace 1-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 2-10 overall; Oak Harbor 0-5 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 3-10 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Meadowdale, Friday, Jan. 12, 7:15 p.m. at , Meadowdale High School
–By Doug Petrowski