Greg Bowman and Loren LaCasse: Dynamic duo leaves Terrace with a bang

LaCasse (left) and Bowman (right) shake hands as they check out of the Hawks’ regional playoff game at Mt. Tahoma High school last winter.

LaCasse (left) and Bowman (right) shake hands as they check out of the Hawks’ regional playoff game at Mt. Tahoma High school last winter.

By Anthony Markert, General Manager

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For the past four years, Terrace had the privilege of witnessing a dynamic duo that lit up the courts of WesCo South 3A. Greg Bowman and Loren LaCasse are two Hawks that will be sorely missed as they depart for college.
This season, Bowman and LaCasse, both seniors, led the Hawks to a 9-4 conference record and a 17-8 overall record this past season. Bowman led the team in scoring, earning a 21 points-per-game average. LaCasse was second on the team with a 16.5 PPG. This shows that Bowman and LaCasse truly did lead the Hawks to whatever success the team enjoyed this season.
While the Hawks men’s basketball team didn’t reach the same success they did in 2013, they were still successful and competitive this year. Last year, the Hawks went on a magical playoff run that found them in the Tacoma Dome, where they placed fourth in the state, upsetting the Seattle Prep Panthers. This year, they were competitive and made it back to state, but lost to Wilson High School in the regional game.
“It was crazy, because I [thought of] all the hard work that I put in with all the coaches, and trying to be a good role model for the younger players, and now it’s time for me to leave,” LaCasse said. Although he was “pretty emotional” after losing the final game, he and Bowman still can look back upon this year as an “overall pretty good year,” according to Bowman.
“I think the biggest thing for me was just realizing how fast it went by. It seemed like just yesterday I was a freshman…and [then] sophomore year was great, junior year was [also] great, fourth place in state, and this year we had our ups and downs, but I think at the end of the year, we’re happy with an overall pretty good year. It was surreal to know that I’m actually done playing at Terrace High School. All the hard work we put in, all the hours, everything, it felt pretty good that we’re done, but at the same time very emotional,” Bowman said.
As Bowman pointed out, last year the team’s fourth-place finish in state was a highlight for both of these seniors that they can look back at now as they move on from Terrace. When asked what the highlight of their Hawks career was, Bowman said, “Definitely last year when we got fourth at state, that was the ultimate reward. All the hard work we put in over the year kind of paid off, and we had something to show for it.”
This testament was immediately agreed to by LaCasse.
Even though LaCasse and Bowman were sources of much of the Hawks previous success over these past couple of years, there is some prospects on the Hawks squad that could potentially fill the big shoes of these two big men.
“I can see Derek Anyimah, he’s good. I remember he was really good last year in practice; he had to always guard me and he just never backed down, so I have a feeling that he’s going to be really good. He’s young too, so that will help,” LaCasse said.
However, Anyimah isn’t the only one the duo pointed out that could step up next year. “For me, I have to agree with Derek, 100 percent, but also Gabe Altenberger is a great basketball player. He comes into the gym every day working hard, he has a great coaching spirit, coach loves to coach him, he makes his teammates better, he loves to be in basketball, and I think this last year he showed a little bit of what he can do. I think next year with us gone he’s going to need to step up more, and he’ll fill the shoes very well,” Bowman said of Altenberger.
Most of the time, Terrace players move on and people focus on next year’s team without paying too much attention to what alumni accomplish in their respective sports after graduation. For these two, paying attention might be worth it.
According to Bowman, he is attempting to “walk onto the basketball team at UW. [I’m] not sure how well that will work out, but I’ll give it a shot.”
As for LaCasse, he is planning to go to Edmonds Community College and continue his basketball career for the Tritons, then attempt to transfer to a bigger university a couple years later. “I want to go Western or Central, that’s what’s on my mind, somewhere local, and I know those are two good programs,” LaCasse said of his future plans.
For other prospective basketball players, something that Bowman credited to his improvement of his basketball game was participating in Cross Country and Track in addition to basketball. “I actually do the high jump and long jump for track this year, I think that definitely helped my vertical increase. I feel like I can get up a lot easier now, and that’s been a big help,” Bowman said.
As for his overall career as a high school student, as well as LaCasse’s, they both credited people within the basketball program. When asked about who left the biggest impact on them, LaCasse said, “For me, Coach [Johnny Phillips] Philly, because he is the most dedicated coach I’ve ever been with and he’s a prime example of hard work. He shows up to everything. He’s 43-years-old and he does all of the workouts at the same pace that we do it at, and he really pushes us to be great, and that’s what he did to me all four years.”
Bowman agreed with LaCasse, and also had someone to add to that: “I 100 percent agree with Loren on that, [Coach Phil] has been the greatest inspiration to me. Like he said, he demands stuff from us, but he’s not just all talk, he’ll do it with you. And I also got to say Coach Sood, he’s had a huge impact on my life, not just from a basketball standpoint, but from a personal standpoint, he’s helped me become a better person, he’s helped me with numerous off the court issues, grades, schooling, anything I need help with, he’s been there for me,” LaCasse said.
So along with inspirational people and help with their future beyond high school, the basketball program has given them a legacy to leave behind here at their alma mater. “It might sound a little clichéd, but just keep working hard, it will pay off. I think Loren is a really great example of that. Like Coach Sood said, he came in freshman year, not a lot of people may have known about him, but he definitely changed that over the four years,” Bowman said.
“He was one of the best players in the league, and in the state too. He put in so much hard work, he’s the hardest worker I know. If I could tell anything to any of my teammates remaining, one of them would be: ‘just work hard, and it will pay off, you’ll be happier in the long run.’”