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Wildcats outmuscled by Knights

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The Mount Si Wildcats started out their KingCo season Friday night on the right foot, but the visiting Newport Knights used their muscle to wear down the 'Cats and post a 67-46 win in boys' basketball action before a good crowd at Mount Si High School.

The game was very physical from the start, and the officials were very busy, repeatedly calling fouls on both teams. The first quarter saw Wildcat post Jeremy Johnston pick up five points to pace the Wildcats to a hard-fought 12-9 lead.

Late in the quarter, Newport forward Jason Herzberg left the floor with an apparent injury to his nose; the Newport side claimed a Mount Si player had elbowed him, but no foul was called. Herzberg returned late in the fourth quarter.

Newport took over the game in the second quarter, outscoring Mount Si 20-13 to take a 29-25 lead into halftime. Guard Koji Pupo came off the bench for Newport and scored eight points in the quarter; he finished with a game-high 18 points. Mount Si's Logan Ratcliffe led the 'Cats attack headed to the half.

Newport dominated in the third quarter, with Pupo leading the effort again, and the fourth quarter was no different. However, the referees continued to call the game very tight, issuing a number of fouls, which started to make a few of the Mount Si supporters restless in the fourth quarter.

The scoring was pretty balanced for the Wildcats, with Ratcliffe and Johnston each finishing with nine points to lead Mount Si; all their points were scored in the first half. Guard Erik Tierney scored a couple of three-point baskets in the third quarter to finish with six points, and guard Bryan Gabriel chipped in seven points of his own.

Outside shooting was also a theme; both teams fired shots repeatedly from beyond the three-point arc, and most of them missed.

Aside from Pupo's 18 off the bench, Newport's scoring was also balanced, with guard Josh McGowan scoring 12, forward Mike Brandt 11, and forward Ryan Hall 10, to pace the Knights attack.

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