Going into Thursday's game, the Grizzlies knew it wouldn't be easy when they faced Mountlake Terrace. The Hawks only loss of the season was to No. 2 ranked Lincoln by one point, a game the Hawks led nearly wire-to-wire.
But the Grizzlies rose to the occasion, grinding out a 63-54 victory over the Hawks to move into a three-way tie for first with the Hawks and the Thunderbirds.
"It's good to bounce back after Tuesday," Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hunter said. "That's good for us. It sounds crazy, but we are just trying to play more like we normally play. Sometimes it just a while and it takes some things to happen for that to take place. I'm just happy with the effort level. Some of the execution was better, more like what we normally do."
The Grizzlies took advantage of their home-court advantage early on, building a small lead in the first quarter behind the play of guards Dreu Vader, Ramsey Rosales and center Zach Pederson. But the Hawks stayed close behind the six first-quarter points of post Greg Bowman and took their first lead at 12-11 with three seconds left in the first quarter on a baseline jumper by Loren Lacasse.
The two teams traded baskets for much of the second period. Mountlake Terrace briefly extended its lead to 23-18, the Hawks largest lead of the game. The Grizzlies responded with a 9-0 run to take a 27-23 lead that included a four-point possession when Ramsey Rosales was fouled and a technical foul was called on the Hawks' bench. Rosales made his two free throws and Mitchl Pohrman took advantage of the technical with two of his own.
But the Hawks remained close, closing out the half with a basket bay Bowman and a driving layup by Blake Fernandez as time expired to tie the game at 27-27 heading into the locker room.
The Grizzlies seized momentum early in the third period, beginning the quarter with a 6-0 run. Pederson's eight points in the quarter gave the Grizzlies a 44-41 lead heading into the final quarter. But it wasn't just Pederson doing the scoring. He finished the game with 18 points, but Rosales added 16 and Vader chipped in 15.
"I think if you scout Glacier Peak you are definitely focused on one kid (Pederson) probably and he's a great player and they should focus on him," Hunter said. "We don't design things for just one player to score, hopefully people don't think that, but he's just so effective that that does happen quite a bit. Scoring like we had tonight is great because it's very difficult to focus on just one person."
On Thursday Vader and Rosales provided plenty of offense. Rosales knocked down four 3s in the game, including two daggers in the fourth quarter. The first a high-arching straight away shot at the end of the shot clock with just under five minutes to play that extended the Grizzlies' lead to five and the second from the baseline with 1:56 to go that put the Grizzlies up 12 and all but gave Glacier Peak the win.
"Ramsey has had a super solid year for us so far," Hunter said. "What I love about him is that he is not afraid to shoot the big shot. As you could tell tonight, he's ready for that. It's been a nice compliment to Zach when team's focus on him in the inside. Ramsey, I think, has taken that role for us and taking big shots and I just expect him to get better from here on out. It's kind of just the tip of the iceberg for him here a little bit."
Rosales said that the team hasn't played to its potential in the early part of the season, but the win over Mountlake Terrace is a step in the right direction.
"We haven't really played the best basketball lately, but it felt good," he said. "We need that win."
Greg Bowman led the Hawks with 18 points, Blake Fernandez scored 14 and Jesse Zerom and Loren Lacasse each added 10. Mountlake Terrace played without one of their leading scorers, Marquis Armstead, who didn't dress for the game.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Glacier Peak H.S.
Mountlake Terrace 12 15 14 13 -- 54
Glacier Peak 11 16 17 19 -- 63
Mountlake Terrace -- Jesse Zerom 10, Anh Viet Nguyen 2, Blake Fernandez 14, Michael Lotz 0, Greg Bowman 18, LeTrae Sarden 0, Loren Lacasse 10. Glacier Peak -- Ty Kjellesvik 0, Dreu Vader 15, Austin Kiser 5, Ramsey Rosales 16, Zach Pederson 18, Mitchl Pohrman 7, Trey Chambers 2. 3-point goals -- Rosales 4, Fernandez 1, Zerom 2, Bowman 1. Records -- Mountlake Terrace 3-1 league, 6-2 overall; Glacier Peak 3-1, 6-2.
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