Prep boys basketball: Hawks’ journey to state begins in Mount Vernon Saturday

Mason Christianson and his Mountlake Terrace Hawks’ teammates are going to the Yakima Dome for the 2A state boys basketball tournament in March, but will first play a Regional Playoff game on Saturday, Feb. 29, against the Lynden Lions at Mount Vernon High School. (File photo by Doug Petrowski)

Reaching a goal set months ago, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks boys’ basketball team has punched its ticket to the 2A Hardwood Classic at the Yakima Dome next month. But which path they must take to a potential state championship will be determined by a Regional Playoff game on Saturday, Feb. 29.

The Hawks have been named the no.8 seed in the 2A state tournament, which brings with it a guaranteed spot among the 12 teams that will be competing in Yakima starting on March 4. But before heading east of the mountains, Terrace will first face the state’s No. 1 2A team, the Lynden Lions, on Saturday; tipoff at Mount Vernon High School will be at noon.

The winner of the Hawks-Lions regional matchup will move into a quarterfinal tournament game on Thursday, March 5, at the Yakima Dome. The loser of Saturday’s contest will still have a chance to get to the 2A state championship game, but will have to begin play in Yakima with a loser-out game on Wednesday, March 4.

Terrace senior Bradey Blackmer is looking forward to the chance of upsetting top-seeded Lynden on Saturday. “That would be really helpful to get that first-round bye and just make an early statement in the tournament to show everyone that, ‘hey, Terrace is here and we mean business in this tournament,’” Blackmer said.

The Hawks and the Lions met back on Feb. 18 in a District 1 tournament semifinal game won by Lynden 58-49. Bradey and his Terrace teammates learned a lot about the Lions in that loss.

“With Lynden, they’re always tough,” Bradey explained. “We had a lead on them … but they’re a team that always keeps fighting. And they stick with what they do well. A lot of teams that we play we’re able to in the first quarter just knock them right out and then they’re mentally out of it. But (Lynden) just kept working us. I feel like we got a little bit away from our game, but they’re a really competitive team and I’m looking forward to the battle on Saturday.”

Win or lose on Saturday, the Hawks will head to the 2A Hardwood Classic next week, much to the delight of Mason Christianson. The senior was part of Terrace teams that made the trip to Yakima in 2017 when he was a freshman and in 2018 as a sophomore; but last year’s season for the Hawks ended without a trip east. Christianson’s excitement to return to Yakima is apparent.

“You can’t really put it into words,” Christianson said. “”We worked so hard for this: the summer workouts, the fall workouts and conditioning, our practices leading up to this.”

“I give credit to my teammates and the coaches for putting us through what we go through everyday in practice and all the hard work we put it,” he continued.

During the strenuous Coach Nalin Sood practices, Christianson and his Hawks teammates kept reminding each other of the goal of returning to the Yakima Dome.

“We would always talk about that, saying, ‘this is going to pay off when we’re in Yakima, this is going to pay off when we’re in Yakima,’” Christianson said. “And now, here we go; we’re taking off for Yakima next week.”

You can view the entire WIAA 2A Boys Basketball Regional Playoffs and State Tournament brackets here.

Prep Boys Basketball: Mountlake Terrace 2A regional playoff game and state tournament preview

— versus Lynden (21-2 overall, No. 1 seed in state tourney); Saturday, Feb. 29; 12 noon at Mt. Vernon High School (2A Boys Basketball Regional Playoff game, both to state)

— If Mountlake Terrace wins regional playoff game, will next play team to be determined; Thursday, Mar. 5; 5:30 p.m at the Yakima Dome (2A State Boys Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game)

— if Mountlake Terrace loses regional playoff game, will next play Woodland (No. 16 seed,13-12 overall) or Black Hills (No. 9 seed, 18-6 overall); Wednesday, Mar. 4; 9 p.m. at the Yakima Dome (2A State Boys Basketball Tournament loser-out game)

— By Doug Petrowski

 

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