Something just felt “off” for the Hawks as they defeated the Shorecrest Scots Tuesday night, 59-51 in the Terraceum to take sole possession of first place in WesCo South 3A.
It was a situation that this team is not used to dealing with. They were forced to hold on to a victory. Shorecrest simply would not go quietly.
Uncharacteristically, the entire game was a up-tempo and aggressive. And, quite honestly, the officiating grew lax as the game moved into its later stages.
Junior posts Greg Bowman and Loren LaCasse were beat around like rag dolls in the paint, all the while with few to no fouls called on the undersized Scots. Bowman finished the night with 13 points and LaCasse led the Hawks with 14 points.
LaCasse also nailed several key free throws nearing the end of the game to help the Hawks hold on to their eight point lead. In fact, LaCasse was a perfect 10-for-10 from the line as the Hawks shot 18-for-20 as a team (.900).
The Hawks were shorthanded tonight, as All WesCo senior guard/wing Marquis Armstead wasn’t suited up with the team. There was no official word about Armstead’s absence on the court, although he was in attendance in the Terraceum.
To make matters worse, with 1:00 remaining in the fourth quarter, senior guard Blake Fernandez fouled out of the game. Fernandez finished the night with seven points in his second game of the season after coming back from a broken non-shooting hand.
The Hawks who came out of the locker room at halftime were a completely different team than the group that started the game and enjoyed a 31-17 lead at intermission. Playing their usual stifling man-to-man defense, the Hawks held the Scots to just 10 points in the first quarter and seven in the second. The amazing streak of holding opponents to single-digit scoring in at least one quarter was kept alive.
But, the Scots outscored the Hawks 34-28 in the second half – scoring more points than the Hawks have sometimes allowed in an entire game. Meanwhile, routine passes were dropped, balls were thrown away, and all the while the Scots made a legitimate run at the Hawks’ lead, cutting it to as few as five points at times. Still, the Hawks regained composure and were solid down the stretch, particularly from the free-throw line. A meaningless bucket at the buzzer by Shorecrest’s Zach Lawson turned what would have been a 10-point win into a single-digit victory.
This was a good test early in the season for the Hawks to discover some weaknesses and be prepared for tough upcoming competition at Glacier Peak as the Hawks face the Grizzlies on Thursday, Dec. 20. Glacier Peak, by the way, dropped their first league game of the season, 52-42 at Shorewood Tuesday night.
The Grizzlies-Hawks matchup can be seen on the Hawks Live Sports Network right here on TheHawkeye.org or at MLTNews.com with Steve Willits providing all the play-by-play.
At Mountlake Terrace 59, Shorecrest 51
Shorecrest 10 7 11 23 51
Terrace 17 14 10 18 59
Scots: Conin Oishi 15, Benny Ortega 2, Zach Lawson 4, Liam O’Neill, Jake Scherf 2, Sam Franks 14, Keelan Tidwell 1, Masamba Njadoe 7, Dylan Pontrello 4, Connor Hyppe 2.
Hawks: Jesse Zerom 8, Blake Fernandez 7, Yohans Tewolde 3, Michael Lotz 10, Greg Bowman 13, LeTrae Sarden 4, Loren LaCasse 14.
3-Pointers: Oishi, Franks (3), Zerom (2), Tewolde.
Free-throws: Shorecrest 10/12 (.833), Mountlake Terrace 18/20 (.900)
Records: Shorecrest 4-3 (0-3), Mountlake Terrace 6-1 (3-0)