By Doug Petrowski
One of the game-day goals of the Mountlake Terrace boys basketball team is to keep an opponent in single-digit scoring for at least one quarter. The Hawks accomplished that goal twice – almost thrice – on their way to a 52-35 victory over the Meadowdale Mavericks on Friday night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Meadowdale shot just 24 percent, 6-25 in the first half as the Hawks held the Mavericks to seven points in the first quarter and six in the second. Terrace had achieved their team scoring defense goal in the third quarter also until Maverick Elliott Reece hit a free throw with no time remaining, giving Meadowdale 10 points for the period.
Terrace Head Coach Nalin Sood liked the defensive effort he saw out of his team, especially in the first half. “I’m happy that we did some positive things with some different defenses tonight,” Sood said. “After the first half we came into the locker room ahead 28-13, and I didn’t have a lot to tell the kids in terms of what they were doing wrong. I thought they were doing a good job.”
With a big lead early, Sood experimented with his team defenses at time, switching between man-to-man and zone, and trying a couple different zone presses. “I wanted to try the different defense just to see if we could get a spark,” he explained. “Sometimes you do the same thing time after time, you have a little bit of a cushion – I don’t want to say complacency, but it’s very routine. So we want to try a different defense to, one, get a spark for us to play well, and, two, see what we need to get better at.”
The strong defensive outing by the Hawks could also be seen in the rebounding discrepancy, as Mountlake Terrace outrebounded the smaller Mavericks 36-15 for the game.
Despite the loss, Meadowdale Head Coach Andy Streit was also pleased with his team’s effort Friday. “I’m really happy with how my guys came out and competed,” Streit said. “Clearly that’s one of the best teams in the state. They’re big, strong, physical, and it was a good opportunity for my guys to see what it takes to play at that level.”
The loss dropped the Mavericks record to 1-8 in Wesco league play, 3-13 overall, but Streit is looking past the wins and loses and is seeing the potential in his squad. “One of the things we talk about is the big picture and focus on ourselves,” he stated. “On that note, we’ve gotten better all year. I was talking to Coach Sood before the game and telling him that you wouldn’t know our record if you came into our practices. The guys are competing everyday and they’ve learned a lot through taking some lumps.”
The young Meadowdale team (there are no seniors on the squad) is sitting at the bottom of a competitive Wesco 3A South conference that includes powerhouse teams Terrace, Shorewood and Glacier Peak. “We’re trying to use this really tough league and this really tough schedule this year to help us learn all the lessons we need to learn to get to the level that Mountlake Terrace is at right now,” Streit added.
The level Mountlake Terrace is playing at right now is lofty indeed as the team is listed at number eight in the latest AP state 3A boys prep basketball poll. With an overall record of 13-2, the Hawks’ only losses so far this season have been to Glacier Peak, listed at number 10 in the poll, and Lincoln (Tacoma), the poll’s number-one team. Wesco 3A South rival Shorewood sits just outside the top 10 as it received one vote for poll consideration.
The Hawks’ league record is now 8-1 as they take over sole possession of first place in the Wesco 3A South for now. The 7-1 Shorewood T-Birds will try to match Terrace’s record on Saturday night as they face archrival Shorecrest.
The next action of Mountlake Terrace comes Monday afternoon as the Hawks are part of a full day of prep basketball at the Showare Center in Kent. Terrace will take on Los Angeles’ Fairfax High School at approximately 2:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Hawks Live Sports Network on MLTnews starting at 2:20 p.m.
Mountlake Terrace quarter scoring: 16 – 12 – 18 – 6 — 52
Meadowdale quarter scoring: 7 – 6 – 10 – 12 — 35
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Blake Fernandez 16; Greg Bowman 12; Loren Lacasse 10; Marquis Armstead 5; Jesse Zerom 5; Michael Lotz 2; LeTrae Sarden 2; Yoel Tekle
Meadowdale individual scoring: Caleb Tingstad 12; Charlie White 8; Griffen Over 7; Jacob Perkins 3; Collin Costello 2; Aidan O’Neill 2; Elliott Reece 1; Kenley Ackerman; Chikodi Ezeokeke