Mountlake Terrace boys drop heartbreaker to O’Dea

A last-second bucket results in a 59-57 defeat as the Hawks drop into the 3A state round of 12.

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BELLEVUE — The fifth-seeded Mountlake Terrace boys basketball team couldn’t seal the victory over fourth-seeded O’Dea at state regionals, losing 59-57 on Friday night at Bellevue College.

With Mountlake Terrace trailing 57-55 with 10 seconds remaining in the game, Hawks senior Jaxon Dubiel was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. He made two of the three free throws to tie the score. O’Dea quickly dribbled down the court, with senior Malcolm Clark scoring the winning layup just before the buzzer sounded to win it.

“My assistant coach who’s in charge of those situations drew the whole thing up coming out of that timeout,” O’Dea head coach Jason Kerr said. “We were in a two-point situation. We had to do something different if we were going to be down one. And he literally called it. I asked him, ‘Do you want another timeout?’ He said, ‘No, we’re going to run such-and-such, and Malcolm is going to get a layup, and we’re out of here.’”

Dubiel finished the night with a game-high 21 points while senior Zaveon Jones added 14 for the Hawks (21-3), who face the winner between 12th-seeded Mount Vernon and 13th-seeded Todd Beamer in the round of 12 at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome.

“I’m really proud of (Jaxon). He gave us a chance to win it,” Mountlake Terrace coach Nalin Sood said. “If he misses two, we probably lose it. Credit to (O’Dea). They made a good play.”

Clark finished with 16 to pace O’Dea (18-9), which earned a bye into Thursday’s quarterfinals.

Mountlake Terrace was strong on both sides of the ball in the first half. Jones was aggressive in the paint, and buckets by Dubiel, senior Logan Tews, senior Joe Asalifew and junior Rayshaun Connor gave the Hawks a 29-23 lead at halftime.

The Fighting Irish immediately opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run, tying the score at 29-29, but Mountlake Terrace controlled the rest of the period to take a 47-38 lead into the fourth.

In the final minute Jones was fouled and made his two free throws to pull the Hawks within two at 57-55. A turnover by the Fighting Irish gave the Hawks the ball, setting up the final sequence.

“(They’re) young guys,” Sood said about his players. “They’ll bounce back quick, and we’ll be looking forward to getting another opportunity. It’s not over. And if you like basketball, you got to go find a way to regroup and be ready to go on Wednesday. … (Tonight was) disappointing, not discouraging.”

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