After an uncharacteristic absence in postseason play last year, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks not only showed they belong but that they should be considered a contender in this season’s Northwest District 1 3A Boys Basketball Tournament as the Hawks ran away with a 65-48 victory over the Arlington Eagles in a first round tourney game played at Mountlake Terrace High School on Friday.
With the win, no. 3-seeded Terrace will move into a tournament semi-final matchup against the Glacier Peak Grizzlies on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The game will be the first of a double-header of semi-final tilts to be played at Jackson High School in Mill Creek. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
The Hawks dispensed of the visiting Eagles Friday by dominating the boards and executing on the offensive end of the court, two aspects of the game that Coach Nalin Sood stressed with his team.
“We have a goal of 60 percent – we want to out-rebound our opponent by sixty percent,” Sood said. “And we’ve probably gotten that about 70 percent of the time this season. If you do that then that’s going to give you a lot better chance because you’re limiting them to one shot. And then hopefully we can get some offensive rebounds and we can execute and get good shots.”
Terrace out-rebounded the Eagles 37-13 in Friday’s victory.
Getting everyone on the team involved in the offense was also key to Terrace’s win, Sood explained.
“Arlington mixes up their defense between man and zone, and so regardless of what it is we’ve got to move the basketball to get the great shots — not good shots, great shots. We’ve talked to the kids about it. We’ve haven’t been great with it all year. We’ve had our moments, and whatever moments you’ve had you’d better be consistent now because it’s postseason basketball.”
Terrace was led in scoring Friday by the 19 points of Junior Daniel Johnson. Seniors Derek Anyimah and Shimron each added 12 points in the Hawk victory.
Johnson has spent much of the season coming off the bench for the Hawks but has recently worked his way into the starting lineup, much to the delight of Sood.
“Daniel, he gets a little rhythm going on his outside shot, but then he can also get to the basket,” Sood said. “He does a tremendous job with making us a better team because he is finding guys with some really nice passes.”
“Daniel keeps us focused at a high level,” he continued. “He’s a good basketball player. He’s another guy that (the opposition) has to go out there and worry about.”
Arlington was led by the 20 points of Donovan Sellgren. Tylor Morton and Brennon Wiersma each tallied 12 points for the Eagles.
Down by 10 points at halftime, the Eagles got to within four points, 28-24, with 5:09 to go in the third quarter. The visitors tried to stay close to the Hawks with strong free throw shooting — Arlington shot 16-for-18 from the charity stripe in the second half — but never threatened again as Terrace outscored the Eagles 37-24 in the final 13 minutes.
The winner of the Terrace-Glacier Peak match-up on Tuesday will not only play for the district championship four days later but will qualify for the regional round of the WIAA 3A Boys Basketball Tournament later this month. But Sood stressed that a Terrace victory won’t be easy against the No. 7-seeded Grizzlies.
“Glacier Peak, they’re a good basketball team,” Sood said. “Throw out the previous two games. For them to go to Stanwood and beat them, they’re playing good basketball.”
Terrace has already defeated the Grizzlies twice this season (51-48 on Jan. 5 and 61-58 on Jan. 29), but Glacier Peak showed just how formidable they are right now as they upset the No. 2-seeded Stanwood Spartans on Friday, 72-66, at Stanwood High School.
Sood expects Glacier Peak to play inspired basketball in their district semi-final game against the Hawks.
“When you’ve lost two, you’re going to be pretty motivated and Glacier Peak’s going to be awfully motivated in that basketball game,” he said. “So we’ve got to back it up.”
While the Grizzlies may have some extra motivation going into the Feb. 16 matchup with Terrace, Sood senses his squad is playing with more spirit now that they are experiencing postseason play, something they missed out on last year.
“I can mask it, but the guys know it’s the postseason,” Sood said. “The guys, they’ve worked hard. They wanted to get back to this. The atmosphere is different – there’s more of a smell of the end-of-the-year. So you just want to take advantage of opportunities and when it is all said and done not have any regrets.”
To view the entire Northwest District 1 3A Boys Basketball Tournament bracket, click here.
Prep Boys Basketball: Arlington at Mountlake Terrace, Feb. 12
Arlington 10 8 14 16 — 48
Terrace 18 10 14 23 — 65
Mountlake Terrace scoring: Daniel Johnson 19, Derek Anyimah 12, Shimron Masih 12, Khyree Armstead 9, Joey Gardner 5, Carson Dallas 4, Gabe Altenberger 3, Keegan Grayson-Zehrung, Akol Yei
Arlington scoring: Donovan Sellgren 20, Tylor Morton 12, Brennon Weirsma 12, Aaron Carlson 2, Drew Bryson 2, Tim Zachman, Jalen Profit, Cameron Reece, Jaren Carey, Griffin Gardoski, Shane Kerschner
Records: Mountlake Terrace 16-6 overall; Arlington 9-13 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Glacier Peak, Tuesday, Feb. 16. 6:00 p.m. at Jackson High School in Mill Creek (Semi-final game of Northwest District 1 3A Boys Basketball Tournament)
—By Doug Petrowski