Sood pleased with team’s performance in MTHS tournament

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Coach Nalin Sood on the sidelines Saturday night.
Coach Nalin Sood on the sidelines Saturday night.

Story and photo by Doug Petrowski

After what he described as a defensive breakdown against Glacier Peak on Dec. 20, MTHS boys basketball coach Nalin Sood had one wish for Christmas: a stronger defensive effort from his basketball team. For the Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament, Sood got just that. The Hawks followed up their clamp down of Snohomish on Friday night with another defensive-led victory Saturday, this time over Mark Morris 48-30.

Mountlake Terrace held the Monarchs to just 10 first-quarter points, then single digits in each of the following quarters, including just three in the third.

Sood confided that the team had focused on their defensive play over the past week. “We spent time in practice really working on it,” Sood explained. “But it doesn’t matter in practice if you don’t go out in games and do it. For the most part, I’d say we did a good job these past two days.”

Mark Morris has a number of strong offensive weapons on their roster, with Tanner Brill, Hayden Tapani and Von Johnson all scoring in double figures against Foster on Friday night. But the Hawk defense shut down the Monarch scorers, allowing only nine points from Brill, five from Tapani and four from Johnson on Saturday.

“They really heightened our concentration and awareness of how we had to play D tonight,” Sood admitted.

On the other end of the court, the Hawks showed balanced scoring, with four players all hitting for 10 points each.

Sood likes where his team is now as they head back into Wesco play next week. “Now can we carry that over to the meat of the schedule? Hopefully these kids can develop some confidence now and some trust in their teammates.”

The Hawks (8-2) will be tested on Friday, Jan. 4, as Oak Harbor (7-3) comes to the Terracium for a 7:15 p.m. matchup. The game will be broadcast live on the Hawk Live Sports Network on MLTnews.com starting at 7:05 p.m.

Mountlake Terrace quarter scoring:    11  18  10   9 — 48

Mark Morris quarter scoring:        10    8    3   9 — 30

Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Marquis Armstead 10; Greg Bowman 10; Blake Fernandez 10; Jesse Zerom 10; Michael Lotz 4; Loren Lacasse 2; LeTrae Sarden 2; Anh Viet Nguyen; Yoel Tekle

Mark Morris individual scoring: Tanner Brill 9; Hayden Tilton 6; Grant Gibb 5; Hayden Tapani 5; Von Johnson 4; Ryan Littlefield 1; Keigan Baker; A.J. Golden; Seth Huhta; Nate Teeters

?Saturday’s results (Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament)
Mountlake Terrace 48, Mark Morris 30
Arlington 58, Ferndale 46
Snohomish 47, Foster 44
Kelso 52, Marysville-Pilchuck 42

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