With senior transfer Sean Kirk unavailable for game action, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks had just two remaining seniors on their opening night roster as the squad hit the road Wednesday to face the West Seattle Wildcats.
The team’s youth showed against the more experienced Wildcats.
Terrace committed 17 turnovers in their first game of the 2016-2017 season and were defeated by the Wildcats 60-44 Wednesday night at West Seattle High School.
“The first time out, there’s probably some jitters,” confessed Terrace Coach Nalin Sood.
With four seniors in their starting lineup, the Wildcats blitzed the younger Hawks with a 16-0 run in the first quarter, many of those points coming off Terrace turnovers and easy lay-ins.
“We’ve got to do a better job in handling the basketball,” Sood said.
After being outscored 20-7 in the first eight minutes, the Hawks battled back in the second quarter, getting to within six points of the Wildcats twice. Brendan Hayes hit a three-point shot for Terrace with 1:45 to go in the quarter to close the score to 29-23, but that was the last time the Hawks would get that close to West Seattle as the Wildcats expanded the lead to ten points at halftime, then outscored the Hawks 15-4 in the third quarter.
“In both halves they started off hotter than we did,” Sood said. “They started off with that run in the first quarter and then in the third quarter also. It’s hard to make that up.”
West Seattle was led in scoring by the 18 points of Nate Pryor. Mohamed Abdullahi contributed 14 points and Tyler Lenzie added 10 points in the Wildcat victory.
Brock Davis scored 12 points to lead the Hawks; Hayes came off the bench and tallied 11 points while Khyree Armstead scored 10 points for Terrace.
Sood was especially impressed with the poise of Hayes, a 6-3 junior who made a couple shots from behind the three-point arc and went five-for-six from the foul line. “Brendan, first time playing varsity, he didn’t look like it was his first time playing varsity,” Sood stated. “He’s just got to continue to have lift, but I’ll put my money on that kid shooting.”
Sood also highlighted the play of Davis and Zeke Tomas, but called out some of his other players in his post-game locker room talk.
“We’ve got to have some guys play better though. I’m expecting a little bit better play from some guys, and they know who they are,” Sood said.
The Hawks don’t have much time to mope about their opening night loss; Terrace will travel to Mukilteo on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to face the Kamiak Knights in another non-conference match-up. Tip off is slated for 7:15 p.m.
Prep Boys Basketball: Mountlake Terrace at West Seattle, Nov. 29
Mountlake Terrace 7 16 5 16 — 44
West Seattle 20 13 14 13 — 60
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Brock Davis 12, Brendan Hayes 11, Khyree Armstead 10, Zeke Tomas 5, Max Hull 5, Keegan Grayson-Zehrung 1, Joey Gardner, Mason Peterson, Connor Williams
West Seattle individual scoring: Nate Pryor 18, Mohamed Abdullahi 14, Tyler Lenzie 10, Anthony Giomi 9, Simon Harris 4, Yusuf Mohamed 4, Kendall Green 1, Jack Golgart, Mathias Fink, Miles Hairston, Grant Vander Hijde, Cass Elliot
Record: Mountlake Terrace 0-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 0-1 overall; West Seattle 0-0 in 3A Metro League, 1-0 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Kamiak, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 7:15 p.m. at Kamiak High School
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski