For years, the coaching philosophy of Mountlake Terrace Hawks’ boys basketball has been an emphasize on defense. This year, the Hawks have put that credo into action, holding opponents to 50 points or less in 10 of their 20 regular-season contests. On Saturday, the Hawks showed that they want to continue that defensive push into the postseason as well.
In their opening game of the District 1 3A boys basketball tournament, the no.1-seed Mountlake Terrace team held the no.8-seeded Everett Seagulls to almost 20 points below the Gulls’ season average and defeated the visitors from Everett 57-47 Saturday at Mountlake Terrace High School.
With the victory, the Hawks (now 16-5 overall) will move into a district tourney semifinal game and will face the no.5-seeded Mount Vernon Bulldogs on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Jackson High School.
Everett (now 13-9 overall) had been averaging 66.8 points per game coming into their clash with Mountlake Terrace. But the team came nowhere near reaching that total on Saturday.
Now in his second year playing on the varsity squad, senior Chris Meegan has heard repeatedly from Coach Nalin Sood the importance of playing team defense. This year, the goal has been to keep opposing teams to the half-century mark or less.
“Fifty is the golden number,” Meegan said. “We try to hold teams under 50 (points); we managed to do that this game.”
“He (Sood) holds us to a high standard and we always make sure to get it done,” Meegan continued. “And we got it done this game; 47 (points scored by Everett), that sounds pretty good.”
Seven Seagulls scored in the contest, but only one reached double figures — senior Daniel Savovic with 21 points. In contrast, three Hawks recorded double-figure scoring totals: Meegan contributed 12 points, Zaveon Jones scored 14 points and Jaxon Dubiel led the team with 17 points.
After a tight first quarter, Terrace jumped all over Everett in the second, outscoring the Seagulls 20-9 to take a 38-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Hawks pushed that advantage to 42-22 two minutes into the third quarter.
Down by 20 points, the Seagulls responded with a renewed defensive effort of their own, limiting Terrace to just five third-quarter points and pulling to within five points, 48-43, after a 3-pointer by Ty Bloomfield midway through the fourth quarter. But that would be as close to the Hawks as Everett would get. Terrace closed out the game on a 9-4 run, with the dagger coming on a Dubiel 3-pointer launched from directly in front of the Hawks’ “Rowdy Rooters” cheering section.
After the long-range bomb found its mark, Dubiel turned to the bleachers and acknowledged the deliriously cheering students.
Logan Tews sealed the victory for the Hawks with a pair of free throws with 39.3 seconds to go in the game.
As the defending District 1 3A tournament champions and top seed for this year’s tourney, Meegan admitted the team was feeling some pressure prior to tipoff on Saturday. “We definitely felt the nerves coming in,” he admitted.
But after the game, spirited cheers could be heard coming from the Terrace locker room.
“It feels good,” Meegan said after the win. “We all worked really hard this week; practice was a grind but we got the job done. That’s all we wanted to do.”
To view the entire District 1 3A Boys Basketball Tournament bracket, click www.wescoathletics.com/m2/tourn.php?act=vt&tid=3865.
Prep Boys Basketball: Everett at Mountlake Terrace, Feb. 11 (District 1 3A boys basketball tournament quarterfinal game)
Everett 13 9 9 16 – 47
Terrace 18 20 5 14 – 57
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Jaxon Dubiel 17, Zaveon Jones 14, Chris Meegan 12, Svayjeet Singh 5, Rayshaun Conner 5, Logan Tews 4 Talan Zenk, Andrew Delgadillo, Nic Sylvester
Everett individual scoring: Daniel Savovic 21, Hayden Conaxis 9, Isaiah White 6, Mauricio Garcia-Luna 6, Isaiah Parker 2, Sam Lawless 2, Mohamed Juma 1, Avery Thompson, Jakob Taft
Records: Mountlake Terrace 16-5 overall, 1-0 in District 1 3A tournament; Everett 13-9 overall, 1-1 in District 1 3A tournament
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Mount Vernon; Wednesday, Feb. 15; 8 p.m. at Jackson High School (District 1 3A boys basketball tournament semifinal game)
— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.
By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.