Despite being at a severe disadvantage before the game even started, Foss wasn’t about to cave. With Narrows 3A MVP Dezmyn Trent sidelined with a knee injury, the Falcons rallied late from a 12-point deficit, but didn’t quite have enough to overcome Mountlake Terrace in a 63-53 loss to the Hawks on Feb. 23 in the 3A state regionals at Glacier Peak High School.
Trent, who was injured in practice the day before, tried to give it a go but lasted barely over a minute into the game before having to sit out the remainder.
“He’s the toughest kid I’ve ever coached,” said Foss head coach Mike Cocke’. “For him to try and strap it on for his teammates, that shows me a lot.”
The Falcons jumped out to a 10-2 lead midway through the first quarter without their star, as Tamariye Nelson hit a three-pointer and Olashawan Miller added a three-point play to jumpstart the offense. Nelson helped carry the offensive load on the day, tying for a game-high with 18 points while Jericho Ballard tallied 16 points and Miller had 12 points for the Falcons.
“We feel we’re more than just Dez,” Cocke’ said. “We talked about that in the locker room…they gave it everything they had. I’m proud of their effort.”
But Mountlake Terrace responded with their perimeter shooting in the second quarter, as Jesse Zerom hit three of the Hawks’ five three-pointers in the period – the third of which put them up 25-18 with 3:55 until the break. Zerom scored 14 of his 15 total points in the period, as Mountlake Terrace led 33-24 at the break. Greg Bowman led the charge for the Hawks in the third quarter, scoring 10 points and giving Mountlake Terrace its largest lead at 44-32 with a put-back late in the period.
But Jerricho Ballard hit two late three-pointers in the third, cutting the deficit to 47-40 heading into the fourth. The Falcons continued to claw back in the final period, as Nelson hit a three-pointer with 2:49 left and Ballard followed with two free throws to cut it to 56-52.
“They rallied around one another, shared the basketball,” Cocke’ said. “All these (other) teams are fantastic, and (our team) went out and had more heart than anybody we’ve faced along the way for the most part. I couldn’t be more proud of their effort and (how they were) just believing in each other.”
Marquis Armstead – who led Mountlake Terrace with 18 points – helped salt away the game for the Hawks with two inside jumpers in the final two minutes. Bowman added 15 points for the Hawks while Blake Fernandez scored 11 points. Chris Reynolds came off the bench to score four points and collect a team-high eight rebounds for the Falcons.
By Jeremy Helling