Prep boys basketball: A close game ends the season for the Hawks

MTHS boys basketball vs. Bellevue, Feb. 27, 1
Mountlake Terrace’s Daniel Johnson goes over Bellevue’s Andrew Kenny for a shot attempt Saturday in a WIAA 3A Regional contest at Bellevue College. (All photos by Jonah Wallace)

The Mountlake Terrace Hawks wanted a low-scoring, defensive game in their WIAA 3A Regional match-up against the Bellevue Wolverines Saturday. They did, but it wasn’t quite enough to get the victory.

The Hawks were defeated by the Wolverines 43-35 Saturday at Bellevue College, ending their 2015-2016 season.

At 22-2 going into the tilt, Bellevue was not only favored to beat the Hawks, but is also the pick by some observers to win the 3A state title. But Terrace played tough against the Wolverines, coming back from a 38-23 deficit at the end of the third quarter with a 12-0 run during the first six-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter.

Terrace’s Gabe Powter hit a three-point jumper with 1:42 to go in the game to complete the run and get the score to 38-35. But it was the last points that the Hawks would see; Bellevue’s Sharif Khan scored on the Wolverine’s next possession, then added three free throws in the final minute to extend the lead to the game’s final score of 43-35.

Terrace went 0-5 from the field in the final minute-and-a-half of the matchup.

Khan led the Wolverines in scoring with 11 points, including all five that the team scored in the fourth quarter. His teammate Mikey Henn contributed 10 points. The two Bellevue seniors (Khan, who will be playing at Seattle Pacific University, and Henn, who heads to UC Davis next year) were kept well-below their season averages of 16.5 and 19.8 points per game respectively.

MTHS boys basketball vs. Bellevue, Feb. 27, 2
Terrace’s Derek Anyimah (bottom) and Bellevue’s Colin Suter reach for a loose ball while the Hawks’ Daniel Johnson watches Saturday.

Bellevue built their big 15-point lead going into the fourth quarter by ramping up their own defensive pressure and outscoring Terrace 16-4 in the third quarter.

“I know we had some turnovers (and) I know they got the ball into the paint,” said Hawk Coach Nalin Sood of the ill-fated period.

“Thirty-two minutes is a long time but it’s also a quick time because four to six minutes can turn a basketball game around,” Sood continued. “I would probably say, you take 26 minutes of that game we probably played them even.”

Terrace’s first bucket of the third quarter, a Derek Anyimah lay-in, didn’t come until the 3:17 mark of the period; Gabe Altenberger added a jumper soon after, but those were the only Hawk conversions of eight third quarter shot attempts.

Khyree Armstead led Terrace with nine points in the game, all scored in the first half.

The Wolverines proved stronger on the glass, pulling down 36 rebounds to the Hawks’ 24. Bellevue grabbed 13 offensive rebounds to Terrace’s four, leading to a 6-0 advantage in points scored off of rebounds.

Despite the loss to end the year, Sood praised his squad for their work ethic.

“I’d challenge another program to put in as much time as our kids do, from scouting to game prep, video, to practices, to everything,” he stated. “I think these guys go through as much as anybody, and they keep coming and working and working. As a coach you don’t sleep much, and instead of caffeine you get motivated by these kids to just do whatever you can — turn over every stone you can — to give them a chance to be successful.”

Sood says that drive is what led to a 16-8 season.

“They went out and had a great year,” Sood continued. “From 6-14 (in the 2014-2015 season) — they were the preseason fourth pick in the Wesco South, I think, out of seven — and ended up as one of the top 16 (in the 3A State Regionals) and not too far from the top eight, how could I be disappointed with these guys.”

“I’ve been doing this a long time, these guys know, and this is a team that I’ve had as much fun coaching as any team I’ve ever coached,” Sood added.

Sood also paid tribute to the four seniors on the squad — Powter, Altenberger, Shimron Masih and Anyimah — for their character on- and off-the-court.

“Gabe, Gabe, Shimron and Derek, they’re just phenomenal young men,” he said. “Twenty-five years from now you’ll see great success from each one on them. They’ve been a highlight of my coaching career.”

Prep Boys Basketball: Mountlake Terrace vs. Bellevue, Feb. 27

Terrace             8        11          4        12        —          35
Bellevue        11        11        16          5        —          43

Mountlake Terrace scoring: Khyree Armstead 9, Gabe Powter 7, Derek Anyimah 5, Gabe Alterberger 5, Daniel Johnson 5, Shimron Masih 4, Joey Gardner, Carson Dallas

Bellevue scoring: Sharif Khan 11, Mikey Henn 10, Colin Suter 9, Cole Cirillo 8, Andrew Kenny 3, Hunter Hansen 2

Records: Mountlake Terrace 16-8, Bellevue 23-2

Mountlake Terrace next game: 2015-2016 season complete

–By Doug Petrowski

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