SNOHOMISH – It was the kind of situation built for Foss’ Dezmyn Trent.
The Falcons trimmed a 12-point third-quarter deficit to four against No. 5 Mountlake Terrace with 2 minutes, 25 seconds to play in the 3A regional matchup – a trip to the Tacoma Dome on the line.
Instead, Trent, The News Tribune All-Area boys Player of the Year who averaged 26.9 points a game coming in, sat on the bench with a gray hoodie over his No. 2 Foss jersey as he tried to hide the pain and frustration of his ailing left thigh.
“I just had to believe they could win without me,” Trent said in almost a whisper as he stared at the floor, clearly frustrated he couldn’t have helped his team.
But that was as close as the seventh-ranked Falcons got. Mountlake Terrace used a 7-1 run the rest of the way to earn a 63-53 victory and a trip to the state tournament.
That Foss had a chance to win against a top-five team was impressive enough, considering its star senior guard played only a minute, 5 seconds before sitting on the bench the rest of the way.
Foss coach Mike Cocke’ said
Trent suffered a deep-thigh bruise in Friday’s practice during a box-out drill. Trent started, but Cocke’ called a timeout with 6:55 to play in the first quarter to get Trent off the floor – determining he was in too much pain to keep going.
“You could see in warm-ups that he wasn’t himself,” Cocke’ said. “As a coach, you feel terrible because you try to put your team in a position to win, and then something like that happens. It was just a freak accident.”
It got even worse for the Falcons when their second-leading scorer, Jericho Ballard, earned his third foul with five minutes remaining in the first half.
Mountlake Terrace took full advantage. With Trent and Ballard on the bench, the Hawks turned a 19-18 lead into an 11-point edge by halftime.
Ballard came back in the second half and scored 10 consecutive points in the third quarter, including a deep, step-back 3-pointer at the quarter buzzer to cut the lead to 47-40.
“I felt like I was going to put us back into it,” said Ballard, who scored 16 points.
Tamariye Nelson led the Falcons with 18 points, and Olashawan Miller added 12.
Ballard’s free throws cut Mountlake Terrace’s lead to 56-52 with 2:25 to go, but Maquis Armstead got to the rim and scored, then stole the ball from Ballard a few possessions later to help Mountlake Terrace pull away.
“Without Trent, obviously, let’s be honest, that’s a big difference,” said Mountlake Terrace coach Nalin Sood. “I know he is disappointed, but I told him after that game that his career is not over. We are going to hear about him. I just really wish he would have played. You want to beat the best and he is one of the best players.”
Said Cocke’: “The (unfortunate) thing is that Dez had to end his career that way. It’s a sad story. But he’ll go on to do bigger, better things. He’ll go play (NCAA) Division I college basketball.
“This isn’t the last of Dezmyn Trent, that is for sure.”