MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — In high school basketball it’s not uncommon to see one player from a team get hot from 3-point range, maybe two. But it’s rare to see a team collectively find the range the way the Mountlake Terrace Hawks did Tuesday night.
Mountlake Terrace had five players combine to drain 16 3-pointers as the Hawks blew past the Stanwood Spartans 77-55 in a boys hoops showdown at Mountlake Terrace High School that essentially served as an elimination game in the race for the Wesco 3A title.
Mason Petersen led the way for the Hawks, making seven 3s en route to a game-high 23 points. All seven of his bombs came in the first three quarters as Mountlake Terrace hit 15 of its first 21 shots from deep.
“I feel like we’ve shot well this year,” Petersen said. “We have multiple shooters and I think it’s hard to guard us from the 3-point line, and from the post.”
The Hawks’ blazing shooting allowed Mountlake Terrace to build a lead that grew to as many as 35 points in the third quarter.
“We can’t say that’s an everyday thing,” Mountlake Terrace coach Nalin Sood said about his team’s shooting. “It was good that it was a game like tonight where we were knocking those down because that’s a good basketball team.
“Our guys have confidence that the guy to the right or the left, that if they give it up to them they’re going to get a good look,” Sood added. “They practice hard to become good shooters, they work on their craft, some days they go down and some days they don’t. But all you can ask for as a coach is, ‘Are you getting good shots?’ and a high percentage of our shots tonight were good shots.”
Khyree Armstead added 20 points (including three 3-pointers) and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, and Brendan Hayes chipped in with 15 points (three 3s) and four blocks as Mountlake Terrace (9-1 league, 17-1 overall) kept pace in the race for the league title. The Hawks remain one game behind league-leading Shorecrest with two games remaining.
“I know the Northwest Conference standings better than I know the Wesco, and I’m honest about that,” said Sood, whose team will be facing 2A competition once the postseason begins. “Everybody wants to tell me RPI and Wesco, but I’m more concerned with process. Who we’re going to play and where we’re going to be for the postseason, that stuff will take care of itself if you’re playing well.”
Matt Vail scored 22 points and Nate Kummer added 13 points and five steals for Stanwood (8-2, 12-6), which while technically not eliminated from title contention, is now in dire straits in its attempt to repeat.
“They shot the heck out of it,” Stanwood coach Zach Ward said. “It’s hard to beat a team when they’re that hot, they did a great job.”
Ward was unconcerned about the defeat’s effect on Stanwood’s title chances.
“We’re going to go to the postseason,” Ward said. “We’ve won six titles in a row, it’s going to come to an end at some point. We’re fine.”
Stanwood actually started out well and carried the lead through much of the first quarter. But once Mountlake Terrace sunk its first 3-pointer of the game — Hayes drained a step-back from deep to give the Hawks a 13-9 lead — there was little Stanwood could do to keep up. Armstead and Petersen hit 3s in the closing minutes of the first quarter to make it 19-15, then 3s from Petersen, Armstead and Mason Christianson fueled a 25-1 run to end the first half as the Hawks blew the game wide open.
In case there was any hint of a Stanwood comeback, Mountlake Terrace made four more 3s to open the third quarter, three by Petersen, to put it away.