The Mountlake Terrace Hawks have already played a season chock full of impressive victories – the Hawks’ latest win may be at the top of the heap.
Terrace stood tall at both ends of the court and toppled the Stanwood Spartans 77-55 in a showdown of Wesco League giants Tuesday at Mountlake Terrace High School.
With the triumph, the Hawks held on to a share of second place in the 2A/3A Wesco League standings at 9-1 and lifted their overall record to 17-1. Stanwood, who had been tied with Terrace and Marysville-Pilchuck in the runner-up spot in the standings, fell to fourth and 8-2 in league play.
Terrace gained the upper hand in Tuesday’s contest by out-scoring the Spartans 35-1 over a nine-minute stretch of the second and third quarters.
Much of the Hawks scoring on Tuesday came from the outside, shooting a torrid 57.1 percent (16-28) from beyond the three-point arc. Junior forward Mason Petersen sunk seven three-pointers in the game, six during the crucial nine minutes that put Terrace well on their way to the win.
“It was great. It was good seeing it go in multiple times,” Petersen said of his three-point shooting on Tuesday.
Petersen led Terrace with 23 points – his season high – and hit a trio of 3-pointers in a row over a 1:01 stretch of the third quarter.
Four other Hawks joined Petersen in the long-range shooting barrage; Khyree Armstead, Brendan Hayes, Mason Christianson and Keegan Grayson-Zehrung all converted on 3-point shot attempts in the game.
“These guys in practice work hard to become good shooters,” Terrace Coach Nalin Sood said of his team. “They work on their craft and some days they go down and some days they don’t. All you can ask for as a coach is, ‘are you getting good shots?’ And a high percentage of our shots tonight were good shots. It’s good they went down today.”
Armstead scored 20 points in the game while Hayes added 15 points for the Hawks.
Stanwood struggled with their outside shooting, missing their first 11 attempts from beyond the arc before Trey Austin made the team’s only 3-pointer of the game with 29 seconds to go in the contest.
Stanwood had come into Tuesday’s clash riding high on a seven-game winning streak; the squad’s only losses earlier in the season were to five teams with a combined record of 72-19.
“I was just looking forward to going and playing a playoff team tonight and getting challenged by a playoff team,” Sood stated. “We got challenged, it was not easy. And you have to be at the top of your game – maybe we got challenged mentally, that we have to rise to the top to be ready for this. That’s what I was looking at, playing a really good team.”
“They start right from the get-go,” Sood continued about the Spartans. “If they miss a shot they swarm you. And then they get after you and defend things well, so you’d better be able to break them down. But you’d better be able to find some guys for open shots. And that’s what we did tonight.”
With the hot-shooting performance, a pair of crowd-pleasing slam dunks by Armstead, a defensive effort that held Stanwood to seven points in the second quarter and ultimately a decisive victory over a good opponent, some might claim Terrace recorded a statement win on Tuesday. But Sood only wanted to concentrate on what Tuesday’s performance meant to his club, not what others perceived it to be.
“Every game we’re looking to make statements in our own mind of who we can be,” Sood said. “Everything is about what we do and where we feel we’re at in the process of getting to hopefully where we’re going to be.”
Prep Boys Basketball: Stanwood at Mountlake Terrace, Jan. 30
Stanwood 15 7 13 20 — 55
Terrace 19 25 23 10 — 77
Mountlake Terrace scoring: Mason Petersen 23, Khyree Armstead 20, Brendan Hayes 15, Mason Christianson 8, Keegan Grayson-Zehrung 5, Connor Williams 4, Max Hull 2, Akol Yel, Bradey Blackmer, Jesse James Martineau
Stanwood scoring: Matt Vail 22, Nate Kummer 13, Trey Austin 7, Mitch Jones 5, Carson Bickford 3, Karl DeBoer 2, Garrett Larson 2, Trygve DeBoer 1, Daniel Chamberlain
Records: Mountlake Terrace 9-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 17-1 overall; Stanwood 8-2 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 12-6 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Snohomish, Friday, Feb. 2, 7:15 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School
–By Doug Petrowski