By David Pan Weekly Herald sports editor
Mountlake Terrace turned up the defensive pressure on Oak Harbor and the result was a decidedly one-sided affair.
The Hawks, who limited the Wildcats to single digits in all four quarters, coasted to a 42-18 victory in a Western Conference 3A girls basketball game Jan. 27 at Mountlake Terrace High School.
In what could be characterized as an understatement, head coach Dave Brophy described his team’s play as “defensively very, very good.”
The Hawks’ athleticism was too much for Oak Harbor.
“I just think that we’re a little bit quicker,” Brophy said.
The Wildcats’ leading scorer, Annie Leete, did not make a shot and finished with only 1 point. Leete had been averaging 9 points per game.
“Our defense really kind of helped get us some easy scoring opportunities,” Brophy added. “We had 18 steals.”
Samantha Romanowski, who scored a game-high 18 points, had four steals, as did Maddy Kristjanson, who added 17 points. Romanowski and Kristjanson both defended Leete.
Mountlake Terrace led 8-4 after the first quarter and went into halftime with a 16-9 edge. Brophy told his players they needed to crash the boards better.
“They had nine at halftime and six were scored on second-chance opportunities,” Brophy said. “We were disappointed at not boxing out well. In the second half we played much more physical and controlled the backboards. They got no offensive rebounds in the second half.”
The Hawks were coming off a tough 79-48 loss to Glacier Peak on Jan. 23. Mountlake Terrace led 16-15 after the first period but then saw the Grizzlies outscore them 25-14 in the second quarter to take a 40-30 lead into halftime.
Mountlake Terrace had missed four days of practice due to the snow and the layoff hurt the Hawks.
“It just killed us conditioning-wise,” Brophy said. “Our legs got wobbly in the second half of the second quarter. I knew we were in trouble.”
Shaian Pagaling scored a team-high 12 points, while Romanowski had 10.
Glacier Peak was led by Katie Hawkins, who scored 18 points, and Torrey Hill, who had 14.
The Hawks (3-9 in the league, 5-11 overall) finished the week still mathematically alive for the sixth and final berth to state. But Shorewood (7-6, 8-9) has the inside track to the berth with this week’s final slate of regular season games. Mountlake Terrace hosts Shorewood at 7:15 p.m., Feb. 3.
“We’re improving at the right time of the season,” Brophy said.
The future for the Hawks appears promising as the team graduates only one senior, Monea Kerr.
“If the team continues to improve, we’re building toward an even more competitive season with realignment,” Brophy said. “The girls are competing with the best teams in the league. … If we can improve in the offseason, we’ll come into next season a threat.”
Brophy noted that the players felt they should have beaten Shorecrest earlier this month (the Scots prevailed 83-74 in overtime). The Glacier Peak contest was close for the first 12 minutes, Brophy added.
This week will challenge the Hawks both mentally and physically with four games on the schedule (Lynnwood, Meadowdale, Shorewood and Marysville Getchell). The Mountlake Terrace roster only numbers 14.
“We’re trying to be careful with our girls physically and mentally,” Brophy said.
But after a Saturday practice, Brophy and the Hawks are raring to hit the court.
“We are excited to have more games and practices,” Brophy said.