MOUNTLAKE TERRACE – Mountlake Terrace mixed a little ‘O’ with its ‘D’ on Tuesday. The concoction resulted in a 60-48 Western Conference South Division victory over Kamiak.
Terrace’s defense almost exclusively carried the Hawks past Meadowdale on Friday. Against Kamiak, four different Hawks helped the offense by scoring in double figures.
“For us, it’s always defense first,” said Luke Hammond, who came off the bench for the first time in his three seasons on varsity and scored 11 points. “Coach tells us to play tight on defense and loose on offense.”
Christiaan Hammond, who started in place of his cousin because Luke Hammond was late for a morning team function, scored all of his 10 points in the first half. Six-foot-5 forward Mike Boxley contributed team highs of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Leigh Swanson, a 6-foot-7 post, added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Terrace improved to 4-1 in the division and 4-2 overall. The Knights, who were led by Rahiti Marere’s 14 points, dipped to 3-2, 4-2.
“It was tough for us to match up,” Kamiak coach Jeff Leary said. “They have some good athletes. It’s just going to take a while for us to understand how to play them.”
At times, it seemed as though the Knights were figuring it out. Other times?
“We vanished,” said Leary, whose team suffered 11 of its 18 turnovers in the first half.
It seems every Mountlake Terrace game displays a different defensive star. Tuesday, it was the play of Adrian Blake that sparked the Hawks from the start.
Blake led the Terrace heavy D in the first quarter. The 6-foot-2 senior guard registered three steals and scored four points in the first 3 minutes, 21 seconds for a 10-4 Terrace lead. Christiaan Hammond scored Terrace’s final five points of the half.
“(Christiaan) could easily start for almost every other team in the league,” said Luke Hammond, who compiled nine points and three rebounds in the first half. “It was no big deal to him. I don’t think he felt the pressure or anything like that.”
Brad Balch, who played for Kamiak last year before his family moved inside Terrace boundaries, contributed six points and two points for Terrace.
The Hawks played strong defense from start to finish despite using only seven players for the second straight game.
Kamiak got a spark off the bench from senior wing Daniel Dawson, who contributed five points and an assist during a 3-minute span that allowed Kamiak to close the deficit to 18-16 with 7:10 remaining in the second quarter. But five different Hawks scored during a 12-0 run that pushed the lead to 14 points with 3:32 to go. Christiaan Hammond’s jump shot just before time expired gave the Hawks a 35-23 halftime lead.
Boxley opened the second half with a pair of jump shots to push Terrace’s lead to 39-23, but Marere scored twice in an 8-0 Kamiak run that shrunk Terrace’s lead to 39-31 with 3:35 to play in the third.
Billy Johnson, who contributed 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, scored two put-backs during an 8-2 burst that gave the Knights another hint of hope – a 56-48 deficit with 39 seconds remaining.
Boxley and Luke Hammond each sank two free throws in the final 31 seconds.
Though the outcome of Tuesday’s game could have an impact in what is expected to be a close division race, Hammond downplayed its importance.
“It’s a big game for us right now as far as being a test of where we’re at,” Hammond said. “But, really, it’s just another game. It’s a test for us, but it’s not any bigger than last week or next week against Shorecrest.”
At Mountlake Terrace
Kamiak-B. Iddins 7, Hermes 5, M. Iddins 2, Dawson 9, Johnson 11, Marere 14. Terrace-C. Hammond 10, Balch 6, L. Hammond 11, Blake 4, Boxley 14, Mundt 3, L. Swanson 12. 3-point goals-Dawson 1, C. Hammond 2, L. Hammond 1. JV score-Kamiak 52, Terrace 49. Records-Kamiak 3-2 in division, 4-2 overall. MT 4-1, 4-2.