MOUNT VERNON — With a spot in the 2A state regionals on the line, a balanced effort led the Mountlake Terrace Hawks to a decisive 62-43 victory over the Bellingham Red Raiders on Tuesday night.
The Hawks had three players in double-digits, led by Khyree Armstead’s 18 points.
“Sometimes you hear about teams that have a good one-two punch, we have a six-seven-eight punch,” Mountlake Terrace coach Nalin Sood said.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Hawks, as they went into the half up just three points at 25-22.
A dominant team effort in the third quarter, in which Mountlake Terrace outscored its opponent 18-5, proved to be the catalyst in the Hawks’ victory.
According to Sood, the team brought a renewed energy on defense into the third quarter to pull away.
“It really started on the defensive end,” Sood said. “I just think the kids dialed in a little bit. [We] gave up way too many offensive rebounds in the first half, especially in the second quarter.”
Sood also praised the play of point guard Keegan Grayson, who scored eight points for Mountlake Terrace.
“He’s a steadying force for us,” he said.
Mountlake Terrace moves on to face Anacortes for the district title on Saturday.
Anacortes hasn’t lost a game since Dec. 28 and won its two district games by a combined 43 points.
“I’m not sure what helps you to get ready to play them,” Sood said of the Seahawks.