Prep boys basketball: Irish edge Hawks in state round 2 matchup

Mountlake Terrace’s Logan Tews (21) takes a shot against O’Dea High School in a 3A round 2 matchup at Bellevue College on Friday. (Photos by Joe Christian)
Terrace’s Jaxon Dubiel (15) makes a layup in the second half as the Hawks fans look on.

In a state tournament clash between two evenly matched teams — the no.4-seed O’Dea Fighting Irish and the no.5-seed Mountlake Terrace Hawks — it’s no surprise that the contest would come down to whoever would get the final chance to score.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, it was the Irish who owned the game’s final possession.

With a bucket by senior Malcolm Clark as regulation time expired, O’Dea slipped past Terrace 59-57 in a tight WIAA State 3A Boys Basketball Tournament round 2 matchup played Friday at Bellevue College.

The Hawks’ Gabe Town(33) blocks a shot by O’Dea’s Levi Orbino (24).
Rayshaun Conner(11) collides with O’Dea’s BJ Shannon (3).

The win sends the Irish directly into the tourney’s quarterfinal round that begins on Thursday, Feb. 29, at the Tacoma Dome. In turn, Terrace must begin play at the Dome on Wednesday, Feb. 28, with a loser-out contest against an opponent to be determined.

After Terrace’s Jaxon Dubiel sank two of three free throws to tie the Hawks-Irish tilt with 9 seconds remaining, O’Dea quickly pushed the ball upcourt for the game’s last shot. Clark, planted deep in the lane, was found by his teammates and fed the ball as the final seconds ticked off; the big 6-foot-7 center had just enough time to turn and bank in a lay-in as the game-ending buzzer sounded to give the Irish the win.

Terrace head coach Nalin Sood shows his displeasure with a referee’s call.

“He’s a good player, a good player. He’s an all-state player,” Terrace Coach Nalin Sood said of Clark. “They use him well, he plays well and (there’s) good players around him. And he made a heck of a play at the end there.”

“Credit to them, they made a good play at a critical time,” Sood added.

Earlier in the game’s fourth quarter it seemed Terrace had the upper hand, leading 49-40 with 6:50 to go. But a 15-2 O’Dea run put the Irish up 55-51 as the contest moved into its final two minutes. 

Then in the final minute and down 57-53, the Hawks tightened the game as Zaveon Jones converted two free throw attempts. Dubiel then stole the ball on O’Dea’s next possession with 24 seconds to go and was fouled as he launched a try from the 3-point arc.

Terrace’s Jaxon Dubiel (left) led all scorers with 21 points, including two free throws to tie the game with nine seconds remaining in regulation.

“Jaxon had three free throws, he made two that gave us a chance,” Sood noted. “I’m really proud of him; he gave us a chance to win it.”

Despite seeing his team’s nine-point lead disappear as O’Dea rolled up a 21-10 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter, Sood was reflective after the game. “Going against a team that I watched two weeks ago (and) that I think is as good as anybody in the state, we gave them a good battle,” he said. “But still they’re better than us; they won.”

Zaveon Jones (41), guarded by O’Dea’s Malcom Clark, added 14 points for the Hawks.

O’Dea Coach Jason Kerr, who has coached four state championship teams in his career, was gracious in his assessment of the matchup between his Irish squad and the Hawks.

“You get a battle like that between two good teams, a four seed and a five seed, you flip a coin,” Kerr said. “(If) we played four more times we could probably just keep beating each other back-and-forth.”

“They’ve got a lot of weapons on their team and they’re extremely well coached.” Kerr said of the Hawks. “They’re not done yet. They just start on a different day, that’s all that means. But they’re not down yet.”

O’Dea’s Malcom Clark (33) scores on a last-second layup to give the Irish the win.
Players react to the Irish win, but both teams will move on in the 3A tournament.

Clark, who has committed to attend and play for the Air Force Academy next fall, led the Fighting Irish with 16 points in Friday’s game. Brian Webster scored 15 points in the O’Dea (18-9 overall) win.

Dubiel led all scorers in the game with 21 points, 11 tallied in the third quarter. Jones contributed 14 points for the Hawks.

While Friday’s loss was the second in a row for Terrace (21-3 overall) and just the third this season, Sood believes his squad can weather the setback.

“(They’re) young guys, they’ll bounce back quick and we’ll be looking forward to getting another opportunity,” Sood said. “It’s not over. And if you like basketball you gotta go find a way to regroup and be ready to go on Wednesday. And that’s what we’ve got to do.”

The Terrace cheer squad in action.

To view the entire WIAA State 3A Boys Basketball Tournament bracket, click

Prep Boys Basketball: Mountlake Terrace vs. O’Dea, Feb. 23 (WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament Round 2 game)

Terrace 14 15 18 10 57

O’Dea 17   6 15 21 59

Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Jason Dubiel 21, Zaveon Jones 14, Logan Tews 8, Rayshaun Connor 8, Gabe Town 2, Svayjeet Singh 2, Joe Asalifew 2

O’Dea individual scoring: Malcolm Clark 16, Brian Webster 15, Breylon Webb 9, Antone Araujo 7, BJ Shannon 6, Doni Burkett 3, Patrick Galvin 2, Quincey Brown 1, Levi Orbino

Records: Mountlake Terrace 21-3 overall; O’Dea 18-9 overall

Mountlake Terrace next game: versus team to be determined; Wednesday, Feb. 28; 12:15 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome (WIAA State 3A Boys Basketball Tournament loser-out game)

— By Doug Petrowski


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