Kangs end Hawks season 52-42

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Blake Fernandez drives early in Friday’s game against Lake Washington.

By AnhViet Nguyen

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One by one, the Terrace players emerged from the locker room feeling the disappointment of back-to-back losses at the Tacoma Dome.

Lake Washington, led by senior guard Matt Staudacher, ended the Hawks’ season with a 52-42 victory.

This wasn’t how the season was supposed to end for Mountlake Terrace. High expectations were set after winning the District 1 Championship. Poor shooting plagued the Hawks again as they shot 18 for 56, an abysmal 32 percent. The team didn’t shoot much better Thursday morning in its loss to Rainier Beach and shot just 33 percent.

Terrace’s defense was solid, especially in the game’s opening minutes when the Hawks ran out to a 7-0 lead. However, the Hawks uncharacteristically allowed the opponent’s key players to get into a rhythm. 

Lake Washington’s Staudacher, who posted 30 points in a loss to University on Thursday, put up 20 points and 7 assists against Terrace.

The Hawks have been good all year about containing the opponent’s star player, but the last two days in Tacoma have shown otherwise. Staudacher and Rainier Beach’s Anrio Adams scored 20 and 24 points, respectively.

For Terrace’s four seniors (Ryan Shannon, Coby Russell, Andrew and Eric Moisant), an 0-2 run at the state tournament is the least desirable way to end a season that was mostly full of highs. But at the end of the day, their senior season of prep ball was successful. Only a handful of people can claim they made it the state tournament and among the Elite 8.

Next year’s Terrace team is going to be a guaranteed contender for the WesCo crown – though the road won’t be as easy as it was this year. Juniors Blake Fernandez and Marquis Armstead proved to be valuable contributors despite tough outings in the state tournament. In the last two games combined, Fernandez shot 5 of 20 and Armstead shot 4 of 23.

Junior guard Jesse Zerom was arguably the top on-ball defender and ball handler on the team this year. Sophomore big men Loren LaCasse and Greg Bowman showed enormous potential and will need to step up and fill key roles.

Rainier Beach and Lake Washington were far better teams than any of the teams Terrace faced all year. The Hawks were tested and simply came up short. Still, a 23-3 season is amazing as a whole.

It took nearly an hour after the final buzzer went off until the Terrace locker room was vacated and all the players and coaches had gone off to embrace with friends and family. The result was disappointing. Players, coaches and fans are disappointed. Soon enough, the disappointment will wash away and all that will remain will be the memories of one of the best seasons in school history.

At some point, the road ends and the ride stops. Thankfully, it was a fun ride while it lasted.