With a new interim coach and a full roster back on the bench, the Mountlake Terrace Lady Hawks hosted the Arlington Eagles in a Wesco League contest played Friday at Mountlake Terrace High School.
And while the Hawks suffered a lopsided 68-19 loss to the Eagles, a sense of guarded optimism could be seen on the faces of Terrace players, their parents and even some fans.
The Hawks had played two days ago with just five players due to undisclosed circumstances involving Coach Michael Jones. And while Jones is still being referred to as the program’s head coach, he has been relieved of his duties for the remainder of the 2018-2019 season in place of Daun Brown.
With Brown now heading up the program, all the non-injured players who had missed the Dec. 19 game were back with the team on Friday.
Although the Lady Hawks were back to full strength, the team was still no match for Arlington on Friday. After going up 9-5 early in the first quarter, the Eagles went on a 40-0 run that ended seconds before the halftime buzzer on a Lydia Prelow three-pointer for Terrace.
With a 49-8 Arlington halftime lead, the second half was played with a “mercy rule” running clock, allowing the Eagles to coast to the easy victory. All 14 players on the Arlington roster on Friday scored in the game, led by Josie Stupey’s 16 points.
Berit Simonsen led the Hawks with 10 points in the loss.
Having been asked to step into the MTHS girls basketball interim head coaching role on Wednesday, Brown had less than 48 hours to acquaint himself with the team before Friday’s game. He hopes to learn more about the squad over the next few days with a series of practices — even one on Christmas Eve — in preparations for games on Dec. 26 and 27.
“There’s no superstars but we got kids that will play and they’re coachable,” Brown said after the Arlington loss. “The biggest thing right now is we’ve got to improve their skills at game speed.”
Brown is confident that with an intense practice schedule and some changes in offensive philosophy, results on the court will be noticeable “in three to four weeks.”
“We’re going to try to get the program going again, if for anything for the girls that have turned out,” Brown explained. “They’re so down by some of the things that have happened — not only this year but maybe last year, because they haven’t won a bunch, and just the turnover in coaches and all that stuff — they haven’t been supported. There’s not a family here.
“They’re so overburdened because they’ve had so many systems and so many terminologies, so they’re going to have to be master students to figure out what I’m doing with them. But they will,” Brown added.
The Terrace girls basketball program has had four different coaches at the helm over the past four-plus seasons prior to Brown’s acceptance to become the interim coach. Prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, the varsity team had a combined record of 9-71 since 2013-2014.
The Edmonds School District gave no official reason for Jones’ dismissal for the remainder of this season, but the decision to replace him for this year was made by leadership at the district level, said Terrace Athletic Director Sharalee Burr.
Brown, with almost 50 years of coaching experience throughout Washington state, may be best known locally for coaching boys high school basketball at Edmonds-Woodway High School for a number of season in the 1990s and early 2000’, and at Woodway High School in Edmonds in the 1980s — including teams that qualified for state tournaments. He admitted that stepping into the interim role in the Terrace girls program will be a difficult task.
“It’s the ultimate challenge; I’ve never experienced anything in my basketball career that’s like this,” he said.
In other Terrace sports results on Friday, the Hawks’ boys basketball team picked up a key road victory 69-67 over the Arlington Eagles.
Junior Mason Christianson scored a career-high 28 points for Terrace; Jace Breakfield added 21 points in the win.
Prep Girls Basketball: Arlington at Mountlake Terrace, Dec. 21
Arlington 26 23 9 10 — 68
Terrace 5 3 6 5 — 19
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Berit Simonsen 10, Lydia Prelow 5, Trinity Prout 4, Kierra Scott, Sarah Schneider, Kaiya Beavin, Kendall Graham, Grace Kane, McKenna Mortensen, Ishika Nayyar
Arlington individual scoring: Josie Stupey 16, Jackie Stupey 10, Keira Marsh 9, Hailey Hiatt 7, Sierra Scheppele 6, Abby Hassing 3, Allison DeBerry 3, Mackenzie Fischer 3, Jordan Bartlow 2, Mollie Janousek 2, Georgia Arnold 2, Ella Strittmatter 2, Ashlee Kluin 2, Abby Schwark 1
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 2-5 overall; Arlington 4-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 5-3 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Sedro Woolley; Wednesday, Dec. 26; 5:45 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School
Prep Boys Basketball: Mountlake Terrace at Arlington, Dec. 21
Terrace 22 20 7 20 — 69
Arlington 18 17 13 19 — 67
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Mason Christianson 28, Jace Breakfield 21, Mason Petersen 5, Jeffrey Anyimah 5, JesseJames Martineau 4, Bradley Blackmer 4, Robbie Baringer 2, Trevor Leen, Trazz Pepper
Arlington individual scoring: Josh Gutierrez 30, Anthony Whitis 20, Griffin Gardoski 12, Caden Smith 2, Michael Tsoukalas 2, Will Abram 1, Gerit DeBerry, Max Smith, Ethan Martin
Records: Mountlake Terrace 3-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 6-0 overall; Arlington 3-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 6-3 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Lakeside; Friday, Dec. 28; 7:30 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School (part of the MLT Holiday Tourney)
— By Doug Petrowski