Viking hoopsters overcome Mountlake Terrace in opener

  • Written by Don Mann
Inglemoor senior guard Eric Bryant drives to the hoop for a bucket during Vikings 63-56 win in the home opener against Mountlake Terrace on Thursday. Photo by Don Mann.
Four Inglemoor seniors scored in double figures as the Vikings dialed it up in the second half to overcome a smaller but scrappy Mountlake Terrace squad 63-56 in the season opener at IHS on Thursday.

The game was tied at 28 going at the half, but then the Vikings found a groove.

"First game, playing at home in front of our fans — a little bit of jitters — and it took us a while to get it going," said Eric Bryant, who led all Vikings with 15 points.

"We came out in the second half and hit a few shots, settled down and found our confidence and it went from there."

Inglemoor went on a run midway through the third quarter: Bryant’s three-pointer was followed by another from Jerry Molina, who stole the inbounds pass and went coast to coast for a layup to put the Vikes up by 10 at the two-minute mark.

After Brady Gregor was whistled for a charge that nullified his bucket, the Hawks scored on its next three possessions to pull within six.

Tyler Bobin, a steady force down low for Inglemoor all night, grabbed an offensive rebound for a put-back and was fouled. His free throw made it a nine-point game as the third quarter expired.

But Mountlake Terrace, playing without 6-foot, 9-inch post Ryan Swanstrom — on crutches with a foot injury — did not go away.

The Hawks continued to scratch and claw and with 2:30 remaining it was a four-point game.

Then Andy Nwaele made a steal and his sweet dish to Bobin down low made it 59-53 with a minute left. Terrace hoisted up an air ball on its next possession to end all Hawk hope and the Vikes made four of five free throws in garbage time as the clock ran out.

"I was pleased with the way we responded in the second half," Inglemoor coach Greg Lowell said. "First game of the year against a good team and to come through ... the way we played better defensively in the second half ... was good to see."

He said the Hawks’ first half fast pace put the Vikes on their heels. "They played their opening game Tuesday night and that can make a difference. It took us a while to get used to the speed of the game ... and they shot it very well."

That fact was stressed at the half, he said.

"We talked about it and we did a real nice job of stepping up — especially our seniors — and adjusting to what we’re doing. I saw some good leadership things ... that’s the character of Andy and Brady and Eric. And Tyler had a big game for us inside."

Mountlake Terrace’s Julian Snow led all scorers with 20 points. For Inglemoor, Gregor went for 14, Bobin scored 11 and Nwaele added 10.

The Vikings travel to Newport on Tuesday, and then host Woodinville on Friday.

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