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Growing pains: Mount Si girls find lessons, tout team-work in narrow Mercer loss, Totems win | Slideshow
Finding ways to come together and stay on top has been the Mount Si girls basketball team’s quest this past week.
The team took the lead but then struggled in the Wednsday, Jan. 23, home match with Mercer Island. But they put it all together on Friday, hosting Sammamish.
The Wildcats fell 55-46 on Wednesday. Mount Si led 32-25 at halftime, thanks to strong play by Madi Bevens in the first quarter—and the rest of the game—and a Grace Currie three-pointer. But Mercer Island steadily chiseled into that lead, and closed things out on the ‘Cats in the fourth quarter.
“We have to be positive about some things,” said Currie, a senior guard, following the game. “Our first half, we came out strong and we were leading. That was a really big deal.
“We just need to learn to pick it up in the second half, make sure we continue that lead and get a win.”
“We started strong and we were working as a team,” said sophomore guard Elizabeth Prewitt, who had a bit of an off night for shooting. “We were moving the ball, we were boxing out, getting offensive boards, pushing the ball. In the second, we dipped down and forgot our fundamentals.”
“Mercer is strong,” said Coach Megan Botulinski. “If we just let up a hair, they snuck right in.”
Currie praised the sophomore Bevens for doing a great job rebounding and putting back up shots, and singled out both Katy Lindor and Katie Swain for their effort seeking those shots.
Swain played tough and aggressive: “She was a big difference in the game tonight,” said junior Molly Sellers.
“Swain always works hard,” added Lindor. “She’s blocking and rebounding. It goes unnoticed. But I have a big shout-out for her.”
Mount Si’s leading scorer on the night, Lindor is cutting well, and her teammates are getting her the ball.
Lindor, a Mount Si captain and communicator, is the leader. She’s worked hard on both sides of the court, and it’s her voice that helps lead the charge on the floor. Leading scorer honors typically flit between Lindor and Prewitt.
Lindor echoed the need to stick through to the final buzzer. “Once they adjust, we need to figure that out, and keep fighting through the second.”
After dealing with injury, four-year varsity player Sellers played her first full game back in a month, and had several shooting opportunities. She was glad to be in it.
“I want to see us be successful, play like we did tonight, just try to make the playoff game,” she says.
On Friday, Jan. 26, Mount Si held on to claim a win over the Sammamish Totems at home, their second on that team, 59-53. Lindor had 16 points, and Currie had 11, sniping for three three-pointers.
“When we work together, we push the ball ahead, we incorporate everybody in the offense. We’re able to put the ball in the hoop,” says Prewitt.
With just a few games left in regular season play, she wants to see this team end the season “by taking steps forward, working toward finishing strong, finishing as a team.”
Botulinski is proud of the effort and athleticism her girls have shown.
Younger players Camryn Buck and Bevens have had huge roles. Buck is a defensive specialist, very quick, and Botulinski has been able to substitute her in on fast opponents. She came off a successful varsity soccer season and is used to the intensity of this level.
Bevens, Mount Si’s sophomore guard and post, is an up-and-coming force on this team. She is a transfer from Union High School near Vancouver, Wash., working wing and post. Even though she’s smaller, she has great post moves. Bevens was singled out during the team’s tournament trip to San Diego, Calif., where she was named player of the tournament at the Surf N’ Slam Holiday Classic in San Diego, and a player of one of the games, as well.
“I was just giving it my all. I guess they saw that,” she said.
Against the physical teams, “scrappiness pumps me up,” the sophomore says. Rebounding from a cold, like many on the team, she has a lot of fight in her.
“I give it my 100 percent, no matter what,” she says. “Age isn’t anything. I have two more years with this team, and I look to give it 200 percent, each game and practice, like I’ve been doing.”
Right now, “We’ve all got to come together, all at the same time,” Bevens says. “It shows when we do.”
“If you want to make it into the league tournament… it’s go time,” Botulinski said. “Be consistent, play with our heart.
“It’s all heart, all team,” the coach says.
Mount Si is at Interlake at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29.
The team hosts Juanita at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31.
Mount Si is now 6-12 overall, 3-9 on league.