After six days without playing a game, Coach Zach Wilde went into Monday night’s Mountlake Terrace Hawks girls basketball match-up with Shorewood a little nervous, not knowing if his squad would be ready for the bigger T-Bird lineup. But the Hawks muscled up in the second half, stood toe-to-toe with Shorewood and, at the end of the night, swaggered off their home court with a 53-42 victory.
The win pushes the Terrace Wesco League mark to 2-0 and their overall record to 6-1. Shorewood dropped to 0-3 in league play, 3-3 overall.
Wilde breathed a big sigh a relief after the final buzzer sounded on Monday. “This was a scary game to play. I was scared to play it on Friday last week; I was even more scared to play today,” Wilde confessed. The coach’s concerns started with the team’s poor play in a 21-point loss to Arlington on Dec. 17, then lost of practice time and the postponement of last Friday’s game due to the school district snow day.
“Sunday I have to give them the day off; then we come in and we have to play a league game on Monday,” Wilde said.
Wilde’s apprehensions were laid to rest with a second-half effort against Shorewood that included outscoring the visitors 31-20, grabbing a big rebounding advantage, and picking up easy points from the free throw line.
“Our second half was a lot better; our defense picked up, our offense starting moving. (We) made some shots, and that really helped in the end,” Wilde said.
Terrace was led in scoring by the 16 points of junior Samantha Romanowski. Senior Maddy Kristjanson scored 14 points, most of those in the pivotal second half.
Terrace’s big defensive push slowed down a T-Bird offense that had averaged more than 50 points per game in the team’s three victories.
“We played a lot better defense. That’s something we’ve been working on,” Wilde explained. “You know, we’ve got good active hands, we get a lot of steals, but we have a tendency to reach at the wrong time. So we’ve been working on it and finally, it’s starting to gel a little bit.”
Wilde was most impressed with squad’s ability to stand up to a Shorewood team that boosts seven players over 5-8 tall. “We worked on it for the past four days – three days of practice – on being physical,” he said. “We’re going to be the smallest team in the league, but we’re going to have to be the toughest.”
The Hawks take a break from Wesco League action as they will next play a road game at Bishop Blanchet on Friday, Dec. 27; tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. Terrace returns home on Monday, Dec. 30, for a 7:15 p.m. game against 4A Cascade before returning to league play in January.
MTHS Girls Basketball versus Shorewood, Dec. 23
Shorewood 11 11 8 12 — 42
Terrace 10 14 12 17 — 53
MTHS individual scoring: Samantha Romanowski 16; Maddy Kristjanson 14; Shaian Pagaling 9; Nikkie Forehlich 8; Kristy Dale 6
Shorewood individual scoring: Lily Gustafson 11; Abby Gustafson 9; Karrin Leazer 9; Taryn Shelley 7; Salyna McDonald 4; Ledia Musye 2
Records: Mountlake Terrace 2-0 in Wesco League play, 6-1 overall; Shorewood 0-3 (league), 3-3 (overall)
MTHS next game: versus Bishop Blanchet, Friday, Dec. 27, 6 p.m. at Bishop Blanchet High School (Seattle)
— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski