It was the kind of situation built for Foss High star Dezmyn Trent.
The Falcons rallied from a 12-point third quarter deficit and pulled to within four points of No. 5 Mountlake Terrace with 2 minutes, 25 seconds to go in the Class 3A regional matchup – a trip to the Tacoma Dome on the line.
Instead, Trent, the News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year who averaged 26.9 points per 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 ground, 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 3A state tournament.
But for Foss to have 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 the game, but Cocke’ called a timeout with 6:55 left 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 left in the first half.
Mountlake Terrace took full advantage, The Hawks turned a 19-18 lead into an 11-point one by halftime with both Trent and Ballard on the bench.
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.
Ballard’s free throws cut Mountlake Terrace’s lead to 56-52 with 2:25 to play, but Armstead got to the rim and scored, then stole it from Ballard a few possessions later to help Mountlake Terrace pull away.