As a 5’11’ post player who can play inside and shoot from beyond the three-point arc, Mount Baker Mountaineer senior Emily Brandland can be a tough match-up for any prep girls basketball opponent. On Wednesday, she was nearly impossible to stop.
Brandland scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Mountaineers to a 53-26 point romp of the Mountlake Terrace Hawks as part of the Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament.
Brandland tallied half her points in the second quarter, including making three treys from the outside, to help Mount Baker build towards a 35-6 lead at halftime over the slow-starting Hawks.
Terrace Head Coach Jesica Anissipour was impressed by the play of Brandland. “She’s a big girl,” Anissipour said. “She can shoot, she can play inside and she’s consistent. She’s a great player.”
A 14-0 run over a four-minute span late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter by Brandland and her Mt. Baker teammates put any doubt as to the outcome of the game away early as Terrace couldn’t slow down the offense or overcome an early pressure defense of the Mountaineers.
Anissipour explained that the early struggles against Mount Baker were indicative of the demons that her squad has been facing so far this season. “I feel that just when we get to game time we are flustered, we don’t slow down in our offense, we ‘hot-potato’ it every time we catch the ball and that’s a problem,” she said. “We’ve got to slow it down offensively and we’ve got to pick it up defensively.”
While the Hawks only came up with six points as a team in the first half, the offense did show some signs of life after the halftime break. Nohea Morrison came off the bench to score 11 points, all in the second half, and bring a smile to the face of her coach.
“Yeah, she got a couple threes in and a couple drives,” Anissipour gleefully said of Morrison. “She’s a basketball player from a basketball family. She’s a freshman and it takes a couple years of varsity games to get a feel for what happens and what the intensity level is. She still has some things to work on, but she’s learning and she’s progressing. I hope she finds that confidence for a full game rather than just the last quarter.”
Anissipour believes the effort she saw from Morrison and her entire squad late in the game against Mt. Baker can be a positive to build upon. “It comes down to fundamentals; it comes down to work ethic,” she explained, “and in the fourth quarter we found a little bit of fundamentals. We had some easier baskets, better attempts; we played basketball the way that I wish we would have for all four quarters. But we found it at the end.”
The Hawks have a few days off before their next game when they take on an Everett Seagulls’ squad that has also had some difficulties generating offense so far this season. The clash with the 1-6 Seagulls is set for Tuesday, Dec. 29, at Everett High School; tip-off is at 7:15 p.m.
Prep Girls Basketball: Mountlake Terrace vs. Mount Baker, Dec. 23
Terrace 2 4 9 11 — 26
Mt. Baker 13 22 11 7 — 53
Mountlake Terrace scoring: Norea Morrison 11, Aynika Nuckles 6, Jorie Lambert 4, Jazz Zenk 4, Claire Zucker 1, Trinity Prout, Eliza Sandoval, Torry Deabla
Mount Baker scoring: Emily Brandland 28, Danielle Tyler 8, Kylind Powell 8, McKenzie Yost 7, Summer Millman 2, Kylee Engholm, Haylee Malone, Grace Stargell, Marissa Anderson
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-2 in Wesco League South play, 2-6 overall; Mt. Baker 2-0 in Northwest Conference play, 9-1 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Everett, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 7:15 p.m. at Everett High School
Prep Girls Basketball: Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament results, Wednesday, Dec. 2
Mount Baker 53 – Mountlake Terrace 26
Kamiak 57 – Meadowdale 29
Juanita 83 – Marysville-Getchell 50
Stanwood 68 – Shorewood 47
Inglemoor 54 – Edmonds-Woodway 53
— By Doug Petrowski