Although the Mountlake Terrace boys basketball team had only six wins going into Tuesday’s matchup with Shorewood, the squad still had a chance to sneak into a play-in game this week for the 3A District 1 Tournament.
All they had to do was get one more victory in their final outing of the regular season.
The Hawks fought hard for that win, but came up three points short.
Terrace fell to the T-Birds 52-49 in overtime and ended their 2014-15 season with a 4-8 mark in the Wesco 3A South and 6-14 overall.
The clash at Shorewood High School Tuesday night needed an extra period to decide after Hawk Joey Gardner tied the score at 44-44 by hitting a 3-point jumper with 14.0 seconds to go in regulation.
Then in the overtime period, Terrace fell behind 51-47 but cut that deficit in half with 8.5 seconds to go as Derek Anyimah scored on a lay-in while being fouled. Anyimah couldn’t convert the free throw, Shorewood’s Brandon Mar grabbed the rebound and was quickly fouled. Mar sunk one of two free throw attempts, extending the T-Birds lead to 52-49. Terrace had a chance to send the game to a second overtime, but a 3-point attempt by Gabe Altenberger was blocked in the final second.
Terrace Coach Nalin Sood gave credit to the T-Bird defense in stopping his squad’s last gasp effort in the overtime period. “They played great defense,” he said. “We wanted to give it to Gabe; he’s our best outside shooter. They switched out on that and ran a great (defensive) play.”
Sood saw the loss to Shorewood as a microcosm of the entire Terrace year. “It’s been the story of our season. We’ve had shots, (but it’s) making a key play here or there — and it’s just making plays. It’s not a lack of effort; it’s not a lack of a degree of care. You got to make key shots at key times, and we didn’t,” he said.
The Hawks made plenty of shots in the second quarter of their game against Shorewood, outscoring the T-Birds 15-7 and taking a 4-point lead into halftime. Terrace held that same 4-point lead with 2:37 to go in the third quarter, but was then outscored by Shorecrest 13-2 to close out the period. Mar gave the T-Birds a 30-29 lead with 1:01 to go in the quarter with a 3-point jumper, then his teammates scored three quick lay-ins off consecutive steals during the final 39.6 seconds.
After the game Sood said he recognized that the end of the third quarter was a key stretch of the contest, but didn’t want to burn any timeouts in an effort to put out the fire.” I thought we were going to stop it,” he said. “And I hate calling timeout when there’s just 20 seconds or 30 seconds to go. We gave up some key baskets. In hindsight, I’m glad we had some of those timeouts.”
“You know, the odds of giving up that many points in 20 seconds are about the same odds of throwing an interception at the one-yard line,” Sood added, referring to the Seattle Seahawks loss in Super Bowl XLIX earlier this month.
This year marks just the third time in Sood’s 14-year tenure as Terrace coach that the Hawks have missed the postseason. But Sood isn’t necessarily disappointed with his squad’s effort this season.
“People are going to look at the records or the standings and say that’s a little different for Terrace basketball, but it’s really not,” he said. “These guys worked; they did everything that other teams have done. We just didn’t get enough victories to get into (the) District (tournament).”
“I’m really proud of them,” he added. “I wish we could have done a better job; I wish I could have done a better job. There’s things I would have done differently in coaching these guys. One thing is they competed every day, every practice, and I think for the support of fans that we had they were an exciting team to watch and they got better as the season went along.”
– By Doug Petrowski
Prep Boys Basketball: Mountlake Terrace at Shorewood
Terrace 5 15 9 15 5 — 49
Shorewood 9 7 20 8 8 — 52
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Derek Anyimah 9, Gabe Altenberger 9, Shimron Masih 8, Justing Hopkins 8, Joey Gardner 7, Daniel Johnson 5, Ali Shah 3
Shorewood individual scoring: Brandon Mar 11, Ian Kirk 10, Callahan Gobel 10, Karson Gronvold 10, Sean Kirk 6, Jordan Muir-Keung 5, Raphael Diaz, Thomas Hundhausen, Kaimana Aki
Records: Mountlake Terrace 4-8 in Wesco 3A South, 6-14 overall; Shorewood 7-5, 9-11