With first-half shooting colder than the temperature outside, it looked as though whichever team heated up first would have a chance to grab victory in a non-conference matchup Wednesday between the Mountlake Terrace Hawks and the Monroe Bearcats.
It was Terrace, led by sophomore Jace Breakfield, that turned up the heat in the third quarter, built a sizable lead and then coasted to the win.
Breakfield scored nine of his 17 points in the third and the Hawks were able to pull away and defeat the Bearcats 64-55 Wednesday at Mountlake Terrace High School.
The 6-foot-6 Breakfield made four of this six shot attempts in the decisive quarter — plus converting a free throw attempt — to help turn around a slow first half by the Hawks. He scored all his third-quarter points from short range and was matter-of-fact in his explanation as to why.
“Post play, that’s just what I do,” Breakfield said.
Breakfield gave some credit for his play in the lane to the work put in last season when, as a freshman on the junior varsity team, he was able to matchup in Terrace practices against a 6-foot-4 senior now playing community college basketball in Yakima.
“Last year we had Kyrie (Armstead) playing against me,” Breakfield explained. “Playing against him helped me, I guess.”
On Wednesday Breakfield was up against Monroe’s 6-foot-5 Sam Olson for much of the game; while Breakfield totalled 17 points in the contest, Olson was held to just four points, all scored in the first quarter. The Bearcats’ big man made his first two shots then went 0-for-4 the rest of the game.
Monroe missed plenty of shots from the field in the first half, shooting just 29.1 percent (7-for-24) and falling behind at halftime 22-17. The Bearcats trailed Terrace by as much as 16 points in the fourth quarter despite finally finding their shooting touch with six 3-pointers on nine attempts.
Matthias Guerra led Monroe in scoring with 15 points; Efton Chism added 14 points in the lost.
Terrace overcame a 32.1 percent shooting performance in the first half to ultimately run away with the win. Like Breakfield, Mason Petersen scored 17 points for the Hawks while Mason Christianson contributed 14 points.
The Hawks will next play on Saturday, Dec. 8, as part of the 2018 Alliance Flooring Showdown — a full day of both boys and girls high school basketball action starting at 9 a.m. — at Highline College in Des Moines. Terrace is scheduled to face the Kentlake Falcons at 2 p.m.
Prep Boys Basketball: Monroe at Mountlake Terrace, Dec. 5
Monroe 10 7 16 22 — 55
Terrace 11 11 21 21 — 64
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Jace Breakfield 17, Mason Petersen 17, Mason Christianson 14, Mohammed Kinteh 8, JesseJames Martineau 4, Robbie Baringer 4, Bradey Blackmer, Trazz Pepper, Trevor Leen
Monroe individual scoring: Matthias Guerra 15, Efton Chism 14, Mcklain Thompson 8, James Storhow 8, Sam Olson 4, Jalen Flournoy 3, Dylan Gendron 3, Blake Rybar, Blake Fodge, Jacob Lincoln
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 2-0 overall; Monroe 0-0 in 4A Wesco League, 1-2 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Kentlake, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m. at Highline College in Des Moines (fourth game of eight at the Alliance Flooring Showdown)
— By Doug Petrowski