MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — When the final buzzer of Saturday’s 17th annual Mountlake Terrace Holiday Tournament sounded, the home-team Hawks had earned yet another championship, beating Snohomish in the championship game for the second time in three years, 72-53.
The final score would indicate a comfortable victory, although it was anything but. For three-plus quarters, the Panthers gave the Hawks everything they could handle.
After trailing 18-13 after the first quarter, Snohomish outscored Mountlake Terrace 19-10 in the second and led 32-28 at halftime.
The score might have been a surprise to some, but Hawks’ coach Nalin Sood said he knew his team was going to be in for a fight.
“They put a scare into us last night, the way they played against Mark Morris,” Sood said. “Mark Morris is a good team and a great program and Snohomish demolished them. That’s because they have such a good system.”
Collin Kane scored 13 points and Tanner Arrington added 12 to lead the Panthers, but it was defense that helped them secure the lead. The Hawks’ two leading scorers, senior posts Greg Bowman and Loren Lacasse combined to score just four points in the first half — all four belonged to Bowman.
“They have the right kids to guard hard,” Sood said. “I saw that there were some spurts where they mixed up their defense with a triangle-and-two. That’s (Snohomish coach) Len (Bone’s) level of intelligence. He knows that’s a good defense to do on our guys.”
It was about as good of a job as any team could do on Bowman and Lacasse, but the Panthers couldn’t sustain it for a full 32 minutes. Bowman scored 16 points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and Lacasse scored all eight of his points after halftime.
“I think we were just being more patient with our offense,” Bowman said. “In the first half we were running a lot, trying to get the fast breaks going. I think in the second half we just slowed down and ran our stuff, trusted it would work and it did. We got good looks and hit open shots.”
Bone said his team’s defense, or lack thereof, played just as big of a role.
“We didn’t guard very well in the second half, especially the fourth quarter,” he said. “That’s not going to win games.”
The Hawks outscored the Panthers 25-16 in the third quarter, but the Panthers remained in striking distance, trailing 53-48 heading into the final quarter. Bowman and company proved to be too much in the final eight minutes, seemingly wearing down the Panthers, who had been the aggressor for the first three quarters.
“We thought we played seven good quarters down here,” Bone said referring to the first three quarters of Saturday night’s game and the four quarters the night before in a dominating 70-46 win over Mark Morris. “We’d been playing maybe two good quarters a game. We’ve got to get to playing 31/2 to four good quarters a game.”
Bowman finished with a game-high 20 points and junior forward Matthew Moisant chipped in 12.
Arrington finished with 18 for the Panthers and Kane had 17.
After a 7-13 season a year ago, Snohomish showed potential against the Hawks. It remains to be seen how much of it the Panthers will realize before season’s end.
“We’ve just got to get better,” Bone said. “We’re getting better. We played pretty good (Friday) and we played OK most of this game. I hope we’re better than we’re playing. We’re 3-4, we’ve lost four games, so that’s not good – but we are getting better.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Snohomish 13 19 16 5 — 53
Mountlake Terrace 18 10 25 19 — 72
Mountlake Terrace—Isaiah Green 11, Yonnas Tewolde 3, Prescott Day 3, Gabe Altenberger 10, Matthew Moisant 12, Greg Bowman 20, Derek Anyimah 0, Loren Lacasse 8, Yoel Tekle 4. Snohomish—Steele Morgan 11, Josh Baird 3, Jacob Hamlin 0, Tanner Jones 0, Andrew Ivelia 0, Josh Shogren 1, Tanner Arrington 18, Ty Carlson 2, Zak Carlson 0, Wyatt Harris 1, Collin Kane 17. 3-point goals—Arrington 3, Kane 1, Baird 1, Tewolde 1, Green 1, Altenberger 1, Bowman 1, Day 1. Records—Mountlake Terrace 6-1 overall. Snohomish 3-4.