TACOMA — For one last time this season the Mountlake Terrace Hawks did what they do best.
They played lock-down defense, which helped spark their offense, limiting Seattle Prep to just 20 points in the second half as Terrace defeated the Panthers 54-43 to claim fourth place in the Class 3A Boys State Basketball Tournament Saturday in the Tacoma Dome.
“It’s great for the kids,” Mountlake Terrace coach Nalin Sood said. “I feel really positive about this season, whether we won or lost, but I want the kids to feel validated in their work ethic and how much time they’ve put into things. That win right there is for the seniors.”
Seniors Blake Fernandez and Marquis Armstead had 11 points apiece to lead the Hawks, who got to the state tournament for the third straight year. Jesse Zerom, another senior, added seven points and six rebounds.
“No one’s going to look at a stat sheet and say, ‘What did Jesse do?’” Sood said. “But Jesse was a point guard on a team that went 24-3 and came down (to dome) and won two games at the state tournament.”
On defense, the Hawks held Seattle Prep’s DJ Fenner, a University of Nevada commit who averages 28 points per game, to nine points. It was a season low for Fenner, who was held scoreless in the first half — for the first time all season — going 0-for-5 from the field.
Armstead specifically requested to guard the Seattle Prep star.
“When it really came down to it, Marquis did an unbelievable job on Fenner,” Sood said. “That’s a credit to Marquis Armstead. Marquis wanted to go out there and defend him. He wanted to show he could defend the best.”
Fenner got a technical foul with 1:48 left in the game, his fifth personal foul, and Fernandez made two free throws before adding two more from a shooting foul committed before the technical. The 4-0 swing gave Mountlake Terrace a 50-40 lead over Seattle Prep (21-10) and all but clinched fourth place for the Hawks, their best finish since placing third in 2005.
“Mountlake Terrace is a great school to coach at,” Sood said. “You can see the Mountlake Terrace pride. … It’s a family at Mountlake Terrace for basketball, for the school. I’m just lucky to be a little part of it.”
Seattle Prep 13 10 10 10 – 43
M. Terrace 6 13 16 19 – 54
Seattle Prep–Jack Roger 2, Demetrius Simmons 0, Angelo Marchesini 11, Mark Caindec 6, DJ Fenner 9, Laurence Hicks 2, Thomas Haggarty 0, Jack Stewart 6, Sean Gummersall 6, Jordan Kitchen 1. Mountlake Terrace–Jesse Zerom 7, Isaiah Green 0, Blake Fernandez 11, Yohans Tewolde 0, Michael Lotz 5, Marquis Armstead 11, Greg Bowman 8, LeTrae Sarden 2, Loren Lacasse 10, Yoel Tekle 0. 3-point goals–Marchesini 1, Caindec 2, Stewart 2, Zerom 1, Lotz 1, Armstead 1, Bowman 1. Records–Mountlake Terrace 24-3 overall. Seattle Prep 21-10.