MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The Mountlake Terrace High School boys basketball team appeared in danger of dropping its home opener against a hungry Marysville Getchell squad on Friday night.
The Chargers had the Hawks on the ropes for the majority of an early-season Wesco 3A/2A bout, until Terrace figured things out and roared back in the final minutes to claim a 58-56 victory while holding Getchell (4-1 overall, 1-1 league) to a six-point fourth quarter.
Senior forward Zaveon Jones delivered 20 of his game-high 30 points in the second half and hauled in 10 rebounds as the Hawks (2-0, 2-0) put a stop to the Chargers’ hot offense that sparked them to a 10-point second half lead.
“I’d prefer three or four more games before we go play those guys,” Terrace coach Nalin Sood said after the win. “Good basketball team, hard to guard. We knew it was gonna take us a while, and it wasn’t looking good there for a minute, but I kept thinking in the third quarter … we’re still right there.”
Senior guard Shawn Etheridge poured in 26 points and junior Bubba Palacol added 19 points and two steals as the backcourt duo ran the show for the majority of the first three frames.
After swiping a pass early in the first period, Palacol pulled up on the other end and drained one of his three 3-pointers to give the Chargers an 8-2 lead before heading into the second with an 8-6 advantage.
After Terrace tied it at 10, Getchell forward Wyatt Harris and Palacol hit 3s and Etheridge slashed in for a bucket to make it 20-14 before the Hawks made their first big run.
Jones drove in and converted a three-point play, and then got out in transition for a lay-in with under 2 minutes before intermission for a 21-20 Terrace lead.
Hawks senior swingman Jaxon Dubiel, who tallied nine points, five boards and three steals, leaked out and threw down a two-handed dunk to cap an 11-0 run with less than a minute before the half, as Terrace took a 28-25 lead into the third period.
“This is our first true big game,” Jones said. “I’m just proud of everyone with how we played. In the first, second and third it was a little shaky, but we came together in the fourth, we had maturity and we won it.”
Etheridge took over to begin the second half, scoring 11 of Getchell’s 25 third-quarter points as he spearheaded a 12-2 run to bring the Chargers ahead 37-30 and triggering a Hawks timeout midway through the period.
Getchell outscored Terrace 25-14 and pushed its lead to as high as 50-40 on Palacol’s 3 in the final minute of the third.
But Jones and the Hawks pulled through with their second big run.
Jones logged 10 points in the fourth, using his left handed to finish around the rim and muscle the Hawks back into the picture. Jones bulled through defenders for a bucket to tie it at 56 with just under a minute remaining, and Rayshaun Connor scored his only two points as he spun in a reverse layup off the glass for the go-ahead score with 15 seconds left.
“I think it was just about trusting each other,” Jones said. “You can’t win a game if you don’t trust each other. We didn’t fall apart like other teams might fall apart in the last quarter. We kept on pushing and we got the W.”
After the Chargers were unable to get off a clean look in the final seconds, Terrace escaped with the win.
“It’s a real credit to the kids, they buckled down,” Sood said. “(Getchell) is a hard guard, so you just have to buckle down. There’s no smoke and mirrors that’s gonna stop them. You gotta keep them out of the paint and you have to get to them on the 3-point line. The combination of guarding them a bit better and capitalizing against them offensively made the difference.”