By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — In a game the Glacier Peak boys basketball team very much needed to win to revive its season, the Grizzlies built a big first-half lead and then weathered a second-half Shorewood comeback bid for a 52-36 Wesco 3A South victory on Tuesday night.
With stingy defense at one end and timely scoring at the other, Glacier Peak ran off 13 consecutive points late in the first quarter and then managed another 7-0 run late in the second quarter for a 27-13 halftime lead. The margin reached a high of 16 points early in the third quarter, though the visiting Thunderbirds rallied to pull within three points, 39-36 midway through the final period.
But Glacier Peak had one more scoring burst, this one another 13 unanswered points over the game’s final 41/2 minutes, to lock up the win.
The outcome gives the Grizzlies an important boost as they move into the second half of their league schedule. Glacier Peak improved its Wesco mark to 3-4 while Shorewood slipped to 4-3.
“It was good for us right now to play against a team that’s obviously ahead of us (in the standings) and to play good basketball,” said Grizzlies coach Brian Hunter. “It was big for us to be able to put together more of a complete game, and it’s good for our guys to see some success.”
Zach Hatch gave Glacier Peak a nice lift early in the game with three 3-pointers, including 3s that started and finished the team’s early 13-0 scoring burst. Then, after Shorewood ran off six straight points of its own, Glacier Peak held the visitors scoreless over the final 61/2 minutes of the first half.
The T-birds seemed to get untracked late in the third quarter, pulling within 11 points at the end of the period, and then following an early Glacier Peak basket to start the fourth quarter they scored 10 points in a row to draw within three points.
But from there the Grizzlies pulled away, courtesy of a defense that denied Shorewood repeatedly in the late moments.
“Obviously we won because of our defense,” Hunter said. “We played good defense.”
In the first meeting between the teams back on Dec. 11, a 62-46 Shorewood victory, brothers Ian and Sean Kirk combined for 43 points. On Tuesday night they managed a combined 15 points.
“We didn’t help ourselves in the first half of the league (schedule),” Hunter said, “but we didn’t put ourselves in an impossible position by any means. Our league is so jumbled right now. We started the second round (of the home-and-away schedule) as the fourth-place team in the playoffs, but we could end it a lot higher if we just take it one game at a time and just kind of take care of it.
“I think our guys have worked really hard and started to figure out how to play a little bit more,” he added. “And I think this game was a good reward for how they’ve been practicing.”
Shorewood was hurt by poor free throw shooting — the T-birds were 7-for-17 at the line — and by two second-half technical fouls, with Glacier Peak sinking three of the four free throws and then retaining possession.
Overall, T-birds coach Corey O’Hayre said, Glacier Peak “just outplayed us on everything we’ve done well all year. They were just better than us, especially on defense and rebounding and things we take a lot of pride in. I just feel like they played a lot better in those areas.”
At Glacier Peak H.S.
Shorewood 9 4 13 10 —36
Glacier Peak 20 7 10 15 —52
Shorewood—Christian Evans 0, Daniel Ishkhanov 2, Kaimana Aki 2, Emil Marshall 8, Thomas Hundhausen 2, Ian Kirk 7, Jesse Reynolds 6, Connor Williams 1, Sean Kirk 8. Glacier Peak—Zach Hatch 18, Seiver Southard 12, Brendan Tetrault 5, Justin Guffey 12, Bobby Martin 3, Kyle Dvorak 0, Noah Forman 2. Records—Shorewood 4-3 league, 8-7 overall. Glacier Peak 3-4, 9-6.