After a sluggish start that included committing four turnovers and missing their first five shot attempts, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks needed a jolt of energy in their match-up with the Ferndale Golden Eagles on Friday night — and the team found that jolt waiting on the bench.
Behind the spark supplied by senior Connor Williams, the Hawks overcame going scoreless in the first four-and-a-half minutes, put together a 20-6 run in the second quarter and pulled away to a 64-41 victory over the Ferndale in the final game of the Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament.
Williams came off the bench to score 13 points, slow down a Golden Eagle offense that felt little if any pressure early on, and put some hustle into Terrace’s otherwise lackluster start.
“I love to just spark up the game,” Williams said. “If everyone is moving super slow, then I’m the fastest one — in my opinion.”
After the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 6-0 lead, Williams led a Hawk effort to push Ferndale into some ball-handling mistakes and create some easy fast-break opportunities. Terrace was able to come back and even take an 11-10 lead on a Williams-to-Khyree Armstead lob/slam dunk combination with 1:26 to go in the first quarter.
But the late-first quarter Hawk advantage was short-lived as Ferndale took the lead back on a AJ Rankin three-pointer and then extended it to 17-11 lead early in the second quarter.
It was then that Williams’ quickness and leadership took over again as the Hawks made their big second-quarter run, grabbed a 31-23 halftime lead and then coasted to the win.
For Williams, it’s all about playing with speed. “I want to (quicken) the game up; I want to change the game,” he said. “I don’t want to play at the same pace as everyone else.”
Playing at a faster pace took away scoring opportunities for Ferndale, who put just 18 points on the scoreboard in the second half. For the game, no Golden Eagles reached double figures in scoring.
For the Hawks, in addition to Williams’ 13 points, Terrace got big point contributions from Armstead with 18 points and Mason Christianson with 10 points.
With the victory, Terrace raised its overall record to 9-1 at the halfway point of the regular season. The Hawks will begin the second half of their schedule with a tough road test against Arlington on Friday, Jan. 5. Tip-off is slated for 7:15 p.m.
Prep Boys Basketball: Ferndale vs. Mountlake Terrace, Dec. 29
Ferndale 13 10 11 7 — 41
Terrace 11 20 18 15 — 64
Mountlake Terrace scoring: Khyree Armstead 15, Connor Williams 13, Mason Christianson 10, Brendan Hayes 9, Mason Petersen 5, Max Hull 4, Akol Yel 4, Keegan Grayson-Zehrung 2, Jace Breakfield 2, Bradey Blackmer, Jesse James Martineau
Ferndale scoring: James Hinson 9, Reid Benson 8, Stewart Freeman 8, AJ Rankin 5, Sequoyah Julius 4, Larson Fairbain 3, Cody Gunter 2, Ian Freeman 2, Watiko Leighton
Records: Mountlake Terrace 2-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 9-1 overall: Ferndale 1-1 in 1A/2A/3A Northwest Conference, 3-5 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Arlington, Friday, Jan. 5, 7:15 p.m. at Arlington High School
Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament, scores from Day 4 (Friday, Dec. 29)
Sunnyside 60 – Edmonds-Woodway 48
Sehome 86 – Nathan Hale 82 (OT)
Ballard 50 – Auburn Mountainview 45
Mountlake Terrace 64 – Ferndale 41
— By Doug Petrowski