Hoping for a season-ending high, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks instead suffered a heartbreaking 52-50 loss to Black Hills Wednesday night, eliminating them from the WIAA 2A Hardwood Classic in Yakima.
Terrace fell in dramatic fashion as the Wolves’ Weston Ainsworth grabbed an offensive rebound and scored at the final buzzer to win the game 52-50 for Black Hills.
The No. 9-seeded Wolves got the chance for a game-winner after the Hawks had an opportunity of their own to score in the final minute. With the teams tied at 50-50, Terrace was unable to get points with their final possession of the game, giving Black Hills a final chance with the ball.
With four seconds remaining, Justin Hicks took an inbound pass and put up a baseline jumper that rimmed off, falling into the hands of Ainsworth, who calmly banked in his put-back as the game ended.
The shocking finish came after the No. 8-seeded Hawks had come from behind in the second half to challenge Black Hills for the win. After being down by nine points early in the third quarter, Terrace fought back to take a 46-45 lead with 3:26 to go in the game before Black Hills turned the tables and got their last-second victory.
The tight contest featured seven ties — the last at 50-50 — and seven lead changes.
Hicks led all scorers with 22 points; Ainsworth scored 11 points, the most important being his final two at game’s end.
The Hawks were led in scoring by sophomore Jeffrey Anyimah, who came off the bench to score 13 points. Senior Mason Christianson tallied 12 points in what turned out to be his final contest in a Terrace uniform.
Wednesday’s loss was also the last Terrace game for senior Bradey Blackmer.
While the final moments will likely be remembered as the contest’s determining factor, 3-point shooting also played a role in the defeat. Terrace shot just 15.4% (2-for-13) from behind the 3-point arc, including an 0-for-6 effort in the first half. Meanwhile, Black Hills converted on seven of its 20 3-point shot attempts (35.0%) in the game.
The Wolves also shot a torrid 88.2% from the free throw line (15-for-17) to help their cause.
Black Hills will move on in the 2A state championship brackets, next playing the No. 7 seed Clarkston Bantams in a quarterfinal Hardwood Classic matchup Thursday. For Terrace, the season ends with an overall record of 18-8.
In other games involving 2A boys’ teams at the Yakima SunDome on Wednesday, the No. 3 seed North Kitsap Vikings sent home the No. 11 seed Selah Vikings 65-52; the No. 2 seed Toppenish Wildcats dispensed of the No. 10 seed Prosser Mustangs 64-60; and the No. 4 seed Lindbergh Eagles said goodbye to the No. 12 seed Lakewood Cougars 68-57 in loser-out contests.
To view the entire WIAA 2A Boys Basketball Tournament bracket, click http://wiaa.com/ardisplay.aspx?ID=1889.
Prep Boys Basketball: Black Hills vs. Mountlake Terrace, March 4 (WIAA 2A Hardwood Classic loser-out game)
Black Hills 10 16 11 15 — 52
Terrace 10 9 14 17 — 50
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Jeffrey Anyimah 13, Mason Christianson 12, Robbie Baringer 7, Jace Breakfield 7, Muhammed Kinteh 6, Trazz Pepper 2, Vito Mkrtychyan 2, Bradey Blackmer 1,
Black Hills individual scoring: Justin Hicks 22, Weston Ainsworth 11, Avery Armin 9, Zach Crumley 4, Degan Hurley 3, Zach Loveless 3, Evan Ellison, JJ Schade, Nick Bovenkamp
Records: Mountlake Terrace 18-8 overall; Black Hills 20-6 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: 2019-2020 season completed
— By Doug Petrowski