First-year Mountlake Terrace girls basketball coach Mike Jones has watched the program struggle to find consistency in his four years coaching boys and girls hoops at Brier Terrace Middle School.
Jones saw the girls he coached during their time in middle school start to lose their love for the game as the program dealt with repeated turnover at the head-coaching position.
“I hate watching people lose the love for the sport because of the inconsistency,” Jones said.
When the Hawks’ coaching position opened up for the third time in four seasons, Jones decided it was time to close the revolving door.
He applied for — and landed — the job.
“I want to go coach these girls,” Jones said. “I’ve had a relationship with these girls. … I really want to do right by them, and it’s more than them. I want to build a consistency in the program.”
And the girls wanted Jones as their coach.
“I was getting visits at the middle school (from the girls) asking if I was going to apply, when the interviews were,” Jones said. “They were hounding me all the way up until the day I got hired.”
Jones takes over a Terrace team that has won just nine games over the past four seasons, but wins and losses won’t be his measuring stick for success this season.
“I’m just looking for the girls to enjoy the game, love the game and go out and really feel like they can expand their games and take some chances,” Jones said. “I’ve been watching the last couple years. I see some of these girls playing out of position or (they) almost seem like they don’t have the freedom to do stuff that I’ve seen them be successful at. I really just want to see them go out and make the game exciting again. If we lose, let’s go out there and battle. Let’s go out and have fun doing it.”
Senior Trinity Prout and junior Kierra Scott — who scored 23 points in a 51-25 victory over Mariner on Thursday — figure to be key contributors for the Hawks this season as they break in a youthful roster that returns just five players.
“It’s going to be a young, exciting group,” Jones said. “We’ve got a pretty good starting five, but we’re going to have some girls that are going to go out and take some lumps throughout the season, and they’re going to grow from it.
“Anybody that comes out and watches this team play is going to walk away knowing that those girls left every single thing they have out on the court.”
Mountlake Terrace (2-1) is off to its best start since the 2013-14 season, when the Hawks went 18-6 and reached the Class 3A state regionals.
All-Northwest Conference selections
Listed below are the local athletes who received All-Northwest Conference honors this fall in football, volleyball and girls soccer. For football, the NWC’s Sky and Lake divisions each selected a first team and combined to form a second team.
Football: Sky Division first team—Zion Evans-Robinson, jr., OL/DL, Archbishop Murphy; JP Land-Quinn, sr., OL, Archbishop Murphy; Josh McCarron, soph., DL, Archbishop Murphy; Luke Riojas, sr., LB, Archbishop Murphy; Dillon Halpin, sr., DB, Archbishop Murphy; Jared Taylor, jr., QB, Lakewood; Michai Harris, sr., WR, Lakewood; David Golovin, sr., OL/DL, Lakewood; Spencer Neiffer, sr., LB, Lakewood; Sean Phillips, sr., DB, Lakewood; Ian Ware, sr., P, Lakewood.
Football: Lake Division first team— Brandon Bach, sr., WR/P, Mountlake Terrace; JP McIntosh, sr., OL, Mountlake Terrace; Nathan Fox, sr., LB, Mountlake Terrace; Tyler Gray, sr., RB/DB, Cedarcrest; Carter Briggs, sr., OL, Cedarcrest.
Football: second team—Sam Lokeni, soph., OL, Archbishop Murphy; Mason Mathis, jr., RB, Archbishop Murphy; Dillon Halpin, sr., WR, Archbishop Murphy; JP Land-Quinn, sr., DL, Archbishop Murphy; Max Henderson, sr., K, Archbishop Murphy; Sean Phillips, sr., WR, Lakewood; George DeVries, sr., LB, Mountlake Terrace.
Volleyball: second team—Tehanna Goodall, sr., OH, Lakewood.
Girls soccer: second team—Cassidy O’Hara, sr., MF, Lakewood.
Kirkman earns WIAA honors
Lynnwood girls basketball player Amayah Kirkman was one of 12 athletes to receive Athlete of the Week honors from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association for the week of Nov. 26 to Dec. 1.
In victories over Kamiak and Bothell, the junior guard combined for 61 points, 18 rebounds, 10 steals and nine assists.