Prep boys basketball: Mountlake Terrace draws O’Dea in state tournament first round

Mountlake Terrace junior guard Rayshaun Connor (11) passes over Arlington’s Jackson Trotter (3) on Saturday, Feb. 17. (Photo by Michael Bury for Neighborhood News Network)

The bracket for the 2024 Class 3A state boys basketball tournament is set, and the Mountlake Terrace Hawks now know the path they must travel to earn a much-coveted trophy from the event.

Mountlake Terrace landed the No. 5 seed in the 20-team tournament and will play their first game at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 at Bellevue College against No. 4 seed and longtime Metro League power O’Dea.

As top-eight seeds, both Terrace and O’Dea have avoided first round state tournament loser-out games that will be played on Tuesday, Feb. 20. And while their second-round clash three days later won’t knock the loser out of the tournament, that team will still have plenty at stake.

The Terrace-O’Dea matchup will determine the initial games each of the two teams will play when the tourney moves to the Tacoma Dome starting on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

If the Hawks lose on Friday, they will see their first game action in Tacoma on Feb. 28 in a loser-out contest. If Terrace wins Friday, the team will move directly into the tournament’s quarterfinal round that begins on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Friday’s game pits two teams that met in the Tacoma Dome at last year’s state tournament. In that matchup, O’Dea defeated the Hawks 54-52 in a quarterfinal contest.

Mountlake Terrace enters this year’s state tourney with a 21-2 record but also with a bad taste in their mouths after a defeat in their last outing to Arlington in the District 1 tournament championship game on Feb. 17.

For a team whose expectations for postseason success grew as the year progressed, the state tournament represents a second chance for Terrace to chase after hardware to display in the school’s trophy case.

The Fighting Irish present a formidable challenge despite the initial impression one may get from their 17-9 overall record. Consider this: four O’Dea’s losses this season were to out-of-state powerhouses; the other five were to teams who have qualified for the 3A state tournament.

In addition, O’Dea is a member of what many consider the most competitive league in the state, the 3A Metro League. Five teams from the league are in the state tournament, with three of them among the top four seeds.

The Fighting Irish are looking for this year’s run in the state tournament to end with a return trip to the tourney’s championship game, a contest they lost a year ago.

O’Dea is led by 6-foot-7 senior Malcolm Clark, an All-Metro League first-team selection who will be playing college basketball at the Air Force Academy next year. He is joined by a pair of dynamic guards in 5-foot-10 senior BJ Shannon and 6-foot-3 sophomore Brian Webster, an All-Metro second-team pick.

Terrace will counter with a big man of their own in 6-foot-7 senior Gabe Towne, who started the season as a bench player but quickly rose to the starting lineup. The Hawks will also suit up two seniors who reached the 1,000-point threshold in career points: 6-foot-2 Zaveon Jones and 6-foot-2 Jaxon Dubiel.

Despite all the scoring prowess that will be on the court, Friday’s contest is expected to be a defensive battle as O’Dea has held opponents to an average of 56.4 points per game while the Hawks have given up an average of just 46.1 points per game.

This year’s Mountlake Terrace squad hopes to be the sixth in school history to bring home a trophy (a top-six finish). The top finish for a Hawks’ squad at state is the 1976-1977 4A state championship won by a team that went 27-1 and was coached by Merle Blevins.

To view the entire 3A state boys basketball tournament bracket, visit

2024 WIAA State 3A Boys Basketball Tournament teams, records

1. Auburn (23-1; 2024 District 3/4 champion)
2. Eastside Catholic (19-6; 2024 District 2 champion)
3. Garfield (15-5; 2023 state champion)
4. O’Dea (17-9; 2023 state runner-up)
5. Mountlake Terrace (21-2; 2024 3A Wesco League champion)
6. Mt. Spokane (19-4; 3A/4A Greater Spokane League champion)
7. North Thurston (20-4; 2024 3A South Sound Conference champion)
8. North Central (18-5; 2024 District 8 champion)
9. West Seattle (15-11)
10. Rainier Beach (13-10)
11. Arlington (18-6; 2024 District 1 champion)
12. Mount Vernon (20-3; 2024 Northwest Conference co-champion)
13. Todd Beamer (18-4)
14. Kelso (16-6; 2024 3A Greater St. Helens League champion)
15. Stadium (18-5; 2024 3A Pierce County League co-champion)
16. Lake Washington (18-9)
17. Lincoln (19-5; 2024 3A Pierce County League co-champion)
18. Timberline (16-7)
19. Marysville Getchell (18-6)
20. Ridgeline (16-8)

— By Doug Petrowski

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