Spartans too quick for Hawks

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The Spartans Drew Stang (25) bats the ball out of bounds as the Hawks Greg Bowman tries to drive to the hoop.

By TK Johnson

The Hawks men’s basketball team lost 66-52 to a still undefeated (22-0) Stanwood Spartans team at Jackson High School Friday night in the District 1 semi-finals.

In order to keep their state playoff hopes alive, Terrace will have to go undefeated the rest of the way to the Tacoma Dome. The next game is against Everett at the Terraceum this Tuesday night.

After crushing Ferndale last Tuesday night in the Terraceum, the Hawks looked like a totally different team in the “Den” at Jackson against the Spartans.

It may have been the quick striking Spartans defense, but a mix of the quick defense from Stanwood and just plain risky passing by the Hawks spelled doom for Terrace – especially once Stanwood unleashed its half-court trap in the second quarter.

The Spartans weren’t just quick, either. They were tough when guarding the Hawks. The Hawks three big men – Greg Bowman, Loren LaCasse and Yoel Tekle – didn’t get a shot off or get to the basket without a fight.

The tough guarding on the three big seniors left some open shots for junior Isaiah Green and sophomores Gabe Altenberger and Derek Anyimah outside the arch. But, other than that, the only points Terrace was getting were from Bowman and LaCasse driving to the paint. Bowman finished the night leading the Hawks with 21 points, LaCasse added 15 points of his own.

Stanwood’s Josh Thayer led the Spartans and all scorers with 32 points – just one point shy from half of his team’s scoring. Senior post Drew Stang added 12 points of his own.

Surprisingly, the Hawks surged to a 10-0 score to start the game, but Stanwood called a timeout and battled back to trail by just one at the end of the first quarter. From that point on, however, the Spartans were in control outscoring the Hawks 28-11 after that initial surge by Mountlake Terrace.

Most telling was the number of turnovers the Hawks committed as their young guards struggled with Stanwood’s stifling and quick defense. The Hawkeye had the Hawks down for 20 turnovers for the game unofficially.

The Spartans won the battle, but the Hawks aren’t done yet. Terrace will take on the Everett Seagulls in the Terraceum on Tues. Feb. 18, tip off scheduled for 7 p.m. in a loser out game. The game will be live-streamed on the Sound Live Sports Network.