Nalin Sood lingered in the locker room, savoring the final minutes of the best boys basketball season Mountlake Terrace has seen in nearly...

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TACOMA — Nalin Sood lingered in the locker room, savoring the final minutes of the best boys basketball season Mountlake Terrace has seen in nearly three decades.

“Sorry, guys,” said the coach as he greeted reporters in the hallway. “One last moment with the seniors. It’s never easy.”

The Hawks list six seniors on their roster. Yesterday, five of them started, three scored in double figures, and all logged significant minutes as Mountlake Terrace rolled to a 64-43 victory over South Kitsap and captured third place in the Class 4A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

It was the Hawks’ best finish since 1977, when they beat Richland for the state title. That it came less than 24 hours after a heartbreaking 47-44 loss to Bethel in the semifinals made it all the sweeter for this year’s senior class.

“You’ve just got to forget about it and finish as good as we can,” said senior Leigh Swanson, who has signed with Seattle University. “I think we showed our maturity by coming out and putting that team away.”

That “team” was the Wolves (26-3) from Port Orchard, who were ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the season.

Mountlake Terrace (22-6) scored the game’s first 13 points and held a double-digit lead for all but a few seconds of the second quarter.

The senior trio of Christiaan Hammond, Adrian Blake and Michael Boxley combined for 43 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who shot 56 percent (24 of 43) and never left a doubt.

South Kitsap finished sixth, winning a state trophy for the fourth consecutive year.

“There’s no excuse,” said South Kitsap coach John Callaghan.

Sood, in his fifth season at Mountlake Terrace, said it might take awhile to soak in the impact of this incredible year.

“It’s not going to hit me until I’m working on my dahlias in the middle of May or June,” he said. “I don’t have kids. I’ve got basketball players, and I’ve got dahlias. And when I’m out working on my dahlias, it will hit me that we had a good basketball season.”

Inglemoor 51, Prairie 48

For the second year in a row, Inglemoor’s season ended with the ball in Skyler Riley’s hands.

This time, with last year’s season-ending miss still on his mind, the senior guard drilled a three-pointer from the left wing with 1.6 seconds left to give the Vikings a 51-48 victory over Prairie and a fifth-place trophy.

Last March, Riley missed the potential game-winner at the buzzer in his team’s 54-53 winner-to-state, loser-out loss to Redmond.

“A lot of people told me, ‘The good players want the ball at the end of the game and you’re one of them, so keep wanting that ball,’ ” said the 5-foot-9 Riley who finished with a game-high 16 points and five steals. “Today I wanted it. My buddies liked to let me know about the Redmond game. Now I can bring up the Prairie game.”

After leading for most of the game, Inglemoor (24-3) of Kenmore found itself trailing 48-46 with 1:30 left. Nate Shekeryk tied it at 1:10 with a layup off a Riley pass.

Orlandor Westbrooks led the Falcons (24-8) with 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists and four steals.

Inglemoor, making its first state appearance since 1992, earned its first trophy.

“We’ve got leadership, teamwork and chemistry,” Inglemoor coach Greg Lowell. “It’s one of the closest groups of kids I’ve been around.”

John Boyle

Eisenhower 65, Snohomish 62

And the seventh-place trophy goes to Snohomish. Again.

For the third time in four years, the Panthers (20-8) lost the game for fourth place and settled for seventh.

Eisenhower of Yakima beat the Panthers 65-62 yesterday despite 27 points and 15 rebounds by Snohomish star Jon Brockman.

Washington-bound Brockman scored his 2,000th point in the game and finished his prep career with 2,023. The 6-foot-8 forward scored all 11 of Snohomish’s points in an 11-4 run during the third quarter.

Snohomish coach Len Bone wasn’t around to see Brockman finish his career or his team lose. He was ejected for the first time in his 18-year career as a head coach.

The game wasn’t decided until the final shot.

Eisenhower led 65-59 with 20 seconds left but a 28-foot jump shot by freshman Zach Wilde cut the lead to 65-62. A double-dribble call on Ike gave Snohomish a chance to tie but Jake Hammons’ three-point shot missed at the buzzer.

Jack Loofburrow led four Eisenhower scorers in double figures with 16 points. Brandon Johnsonscored 14.

Ike made 17 of 29 free throws while Snohomish made 8 of 19.

The fourth-place finish for Ike (26-4) is best in the school’s history and came in coach Pat Fitterer’s second season after leaving Sehome of Bellingham. Fitterer ranks No. 5 on the state’s all-time victory list with 561.

Craig Smith