Prep girls basketball: Short roster contributes to Hawks loss against Shorecrest

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With just eight healthy bodies on the bench to start the game – and finishing with just seven – the Mountlake Terrace Hawks just didn’t have the troops to keep up with the hard-charging Shorecrest Scots Wednesday night.

The Hawks fell to the Scots 66-32 in the Wesco League girls basketball opener for both squads.

Terrace was missing junior Nohea Morrison and sophomore Michaela Ollivierre on Wednesday; both are recovering from knee injuries suffered earlier this season. Then, senior Jazz Zenk went down in the fourth quarter with an injury to her left ankle, leaving the Hawks with just seven players to finish out the final few minutes of the contest.

First-year Terrace Coach Tyler Stracener conceded that the early-season plague of Hawk injuries put more stress on the remaining players on the roster.

“It’s a part of the game, you know it’s going to happen at some point,” Stracener said. “You just don’t know when the lightning is going to strike.”

Morrison, an important part of the Hawk offense with her long-range shooting ability, may not be back until late in the year – if at all. Ollivierre may be able to do some practicing later this week, but “is starting on her way back,” Stracener said.

It was unknown Wednesday night if Zenk’s ankle injury would prevent her from playing in the Hawks’ next game on Friday versus Marysville-Getchell.

“I’m sitting here thinking that I’d rather it happen now so they have time to heal and get back and be ready for the end of the season down the stretch,” he admitted about the rash of early-season injuries.

With so many of her teammates banged up, it was Terrace’s Skyler Cristelli that took on much of the offensive load on Wednesday. The senior led the team in scoring with 16 points – her season high – in the loss to Shorecrest.

“She’s a dynamite shooter,” Stracener said of Cristelli. “At the beginning of the season she was struggling getting her shot to go down, but once (we) saw one or two go down she’s able to fill up the bucket pretty quickly. And right now I’m still thinking the floodgates haven’t quite opened all the way.”

“It’s nice to see her out there getting more comfortable shooting,” Stracener added.

Despite Cristelli’s effort, it was the Scots who were able to get the win at Shorecrest High School. Julia Strand led all scorers with 20 points. Sydney VanNess and Audrey Dietz added 12 and 11 points respectively for the Scots.

The Hawks will try to get their first Wesco League victory of the season on Friday when they face the Marysville-Getchell Chargers at Mountlake Terrace High School; tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m.

Prep Girls Basketball: Mountlake Terrace at Shorecrest, Dec. 13

Terrace          6    9    10    5 32
Shorecrest    12   23  20   11 66

Mountlake Terrace scoring: Skyler Cristelli 16, Aynika Nuckles 7, Jazz Zenk 4, Kierra Scott 3, Trinity Prout 2, Lydia Prelow, Reagan Stickney, Kaiya Beavin

Shorecrest scoring: Julia Strand 20, Sydney VanNess 12, Audrey Dietz 11, Jenna Tikalsky 6, Maura Weaver 6, Shelby Gresch 4, Amanda Lee 3, Madi Bolstad 2, Kiana Lino 2, Piper Rosman

Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 1-5 overall; Shorecrest 1-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 3-2 overall

Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Marysville-Getchell, Friday, Dec. 15, 7:15 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School

–By Doug Petrowski

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