By Doug Petrowski
Mountlake Terrace High School will be well represented at this weekend’s 2013 Northwest Shootout, a high school all-star event at the University of Portland; MTHS boys basketball coach Nalin Sood will be coaching the Washington state boys all-stars, while Hawk senior Marquis Armstead will be among the participants on Sood’s squad.
The 19th annual Northwest Shootout is put on by the Multnomah Athletic Foundation and is sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants. The event is made up of two all-star basketball games, the first matching the top high school girls in Oregon against their counterparts in Washington, followed by a clash between the best high school boys from each state.
In addition to Armstead filling a roster spot on the Washington boys team, Terrace hoop fans will recognize a couple other players participating — Tre’ shaun Fletcher from Lincoln High School (Tacoma), DJ Fenner of Seattle Prep High School, and Dezmyn Trent of Foss High School. The MTHS Hawks faced Lincoln, Seattle Prep and Foss during the 2012-2013 basketball season.
“This is quite an honor to coach the Washington kids this year,” Sood said, “(to coach) kids I have followed and had great respect for.”
The teams were selected by a small panel of high school coaches, with Sood having some input on the choices. The Mountlake Terrace coach stressed that the 10 boys picked for the Washington squad were chosen for many reasons, not just because of scoring averages or a position as top player at their individual high school. “These players all have a long list of successes, but they also know how play within a team,” Sood explained.
As for Armstead being chosen the squad, Sood emphasized that the Hawk senior made the grade on his own merits, not simply because his coach was involved in the selection process.
“I did not campaign for Marquis; I won’t do that,” Sood said. “I want MTHS kids to get in on their own merits and accomplishments rather than just because of my influence or campaign for a kid. That being said. Bill (Bakamus, coach of Mark Morris High School) and other coaches appreciated Marquis’s game the past couple years and have kept an eye on him. Bill mentioned Marquis’s consistent defensive abilities, commitment to team play, and the MTHS team’s success the past two years.”
“Marquis made the team on his own merits, no doubt,” Sood added.
Armstead is the first Mountlake Terrace Hawk to play in the Washington-Oregon all-star game since Seamus Boxley in 2000. Boxley has gone on to have a long career in basketball, playing mostly in Europe; he currently plays for Oberwart in Austria.
In addition to Armstead, Fletcher, Fenner and Trent, the Washington boys squad will consist of Brett Bailey, University; Will Dorsey, Rainier Beach; Tucker Haymond, Garfield; Lucas Meikle, Bellermine Prep; Issac Reimer, Lynden Christian and Dominic Robinson, Curtis.
The Washington girls squad will include two hoopsters from the Wesco Conference — Brook Pahukoa of Lake Stevens and Rachel Swartz of Stanwood.
The games are scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 20, at the Chiles Center on the University of Portland campus. The girls all-star game tips off at 4 p.m., with the boys game expected to begin at approximately 6 p.m. Admission for the event is $10 for adults, $5 for students.