SHORELINE — Go ahead and circle Jan. 21 on the calendar.
The roof is bound to blow off the gym that night when the Shorewood and Mountlake Terrace boys basketball teams collide for what’s sure to be a rambunctious rematch.
Round 1 went to the Thunderbirds by a nose as they rode a third-quarter outburst to a 51-48 victory Tuesday night at Shorewood High School in the Western Conference South Division opener for both teams.
Shorewood (1-0 league, 2-0 overall) scored 13 straight points during a three-minute stretch of the third period to wipe out an eight-point deficit and take the lead for good.
Rob Diederichs sparked the run with a layup and capped it with a pair of 3-pointers that put the Thunderbirds in front 32-27 with 1:10 left in the quarter.
The 6-foot-7 senior swingman banked in a double-clutch NBA-range 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Shorewood a five-point edge going into the fourth.
“I was looking for my shot outside a bit. Maybe it was a little selfish, but they were going down,” said Diederichs, who scored 20 of his game-high 28 points in the second half.
“That third quarter came out of nowhere. I think we deserved it because we were working hard. We wanted to beat that team so bad.”
Sean Tracey stretched the Shorewood lead to 50-40 with a steal and layin with 1:04 remaining in the game.
Less than 40 seconds later Christiaan Hammond had whittled the gap down to two. The backup guard drilled a 3-pointer, stole the ball and sank a pair of free throws after drawing a foul. Hammond then popped the ball free again at midcourt and swished another 3-pointer with 27 seconds to go.
The Hawks (0-1, 0-2) forced another turnover, but point guard Luke Hammond’s layup rimmed off. Diederichs controlled the rebound and hit a free throw to finish the scoring.
“This game was like a game at the end of the season, almost like we’re getting ready for the playoffs,” Shorewood coach Jeff Denny said. “The last three or four years we’ve started off with Terrace. To have the top dog off the bat is always tough. You’ve got to be ready or else they’re going to take it to you.”
Tracey finished with seven points and sophomore Tim Diederichs scored all five of his points during the decisive the third quarter. The duo limited Mountlake Terrace senior post Leigh Swanson to five points.
Christiaan Hammond led the Hawks with 14 points and Mike Boxley added 13 before fouling out with 4:16 to play.
“Coach kept telling us, ‘It’s not the whole season, it’s just one game.’ But we knew it was huge,” Rob Diederichs said. “Terrace has gone to state the past two years and they’re always at the top of the division. That’s where we want to be.”