Even after years of coaching, Nalin Sood admits he still gets a little anxious before the opening game of a season. Tuesday was no different for the Mountlake Terrace Hawks head coach.
“There was butterflies today, just ‘cause you just don’t know,” Sood said.
Anxiety turned to relief quickly for Sood as his Hawks jumped all over the Lake Washington Kangaroos early on and then coasted to an 84-56 win Tuesday night at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland.
Terrace outscored the Kangaroos 27-3 in the first 7:30 of the game, led at halftime 51-19, and was never challenged in the 2017-2018 season opener for both teams.
“I thought the guys came out with good energy,” Sood said. “We’re going to play a certain way and there’s going to be ups and downs when you do that. There’s going to be challenges, but it was a good start tonight.”
Terrace forced Lake Washington into committing 10 first quarter turnovers, converting many of those into fast break points. The Hawks were also red-hot beyond the three-point arc early on, sinking four of their first five attempts in the contest.
Khyree Armstead scored 30 points to lead the Hawks in the victory.
“Thirty points is great and I’m sure he’s pleased with that, but I think Khyree just wants to make an impact on the basketball game,” Sood stated. “It was thirty – but it was a quiet thirty, and that’s a credit to being a good basketball player.”
In his first game as a Terrace starter, sophomore guard Mason Christianson contributed 15 points, 12 during the Hawks’ big first half.
“He’s fearless,” Sood said of Christianson. “He wants to go out there; he’s a competitor, and he’s a kid that wants to be the best he can be. But he also wants to be on a good basketball team. He’s a kid that we’re lucky to have on our side.”
Christianson’s game effort included a dazzling play late in the first quarter when he drove the left side of the lane, spun 360 degrees, then flipped in a left-handed floater for two points.
“Mason’s been waiting for this game and this opportunity,” Sood added.
Two other Hawks reached double-figure scoring in the blowout – Connor Williams came off the bench to score 13 points while Mason Petersen added 10 points.
Lake Washington was led by the 16 points of Beau Heimdahl; Dalton Liesse scored 12 points in the loss.
Terrace doesn’t have much time to savor their opening game triumph as the squad returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 29, when they open the home portion of their schedule. The Hawks will welcome the Kamiak Knights to Mountlake Terrace High School for a 7:15 p.m. tipoff.
Prep Boys Basketball: Mountlake Terrace at Lake Washington, Nov. 28
Mountlake Terrace 27 24 17 16 — 84
Lake Washington 5 14 20 17 — 56
Mountlake Terrace scoring: Khyree Armstead 30, Mason Christianson 15, Connor Williams 13, Mason Petersen 10, Brendan Hayes 6, Keegan Grayson-Zehrung 4, Jace Breakfield 4, Bradey Blackmer 2, Jesse Martineau
Lake Washington scoring: Beau Heimdahl 16, Dalton Liesse 12, Andrew Vincent 9, Karl Drammeh 6, AJ Filan 5, Philip Roe 4, Nick Strausburg 2, Marcus Christerson 2,
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 1-0 overall; Lake Washington 0-0 in 2A/3A KingCo Conference, 0-1 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Kamiak, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7:15 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School
–By Doug Petrowski