Mount Si’s boys basketball season ended Saturday evening, Feb. 9, in the first round of SeaKing Districts at Eastside Catholic High School.
The Crusaders won, 55-50.
Mount Si held the lead at the end of the first quarter, 18-6, but failed to hang on. Trent Riley led the Wildcats with 21 points.
Mount Si finished their season, 15-8.
The Wildcats claimed third in the KingCo tournament Thursday, beating Liberty at the Bellevue College gymnasium, 73-46. Riley had 30, Levi Botten had 11. The team battled to a quick lead and held it throughout.
“Tonight’s game, I was so proud of our guys,” said head coach Steve Helm. “They executed all four quarters… We were able to control the tempo of the game.”
Helm credited the boys’ balanced scoring against Liberty. Mount Si got to the line 16 times.
“We’ve had a hard time putting teams away this year,” Helm added. “Tonight, we did.”
“We stuck with our defensive plan and it really worked tonight,” said Riley. He found plenty of open lanes— “I was able to get in the paint and finish,” the senior said.
After the prior Tuesday’s loss to Bellevue in the league tournament, “We knew we were a better team than that,” said Jason Smith. “We wanted to make a statement and let them know we’re still a good team. We’re second best in KingCo.”
Against Liberty, Nelson added his long shots: “I’m a role player. I go in and give Jack and Trent and Levi a couple of breaks.”
Botten did his signature strong job as initiator, penetrating to the basket. Beau Shain rebounded well, putting up 13. Tyler McCreadie stepped up in the fourth and took part in some hardscrabble battles for the ball under the hoop.
“I needed to do what the team needed me to do,” he said.
Switching with McCreadie at post, Griffin McLain, too, kept things physical, adding several baskets: “I try to make boards…. try to play football out there.”
KingCo league honors this season include Riley, who was named to the first team, and Botten and McCreadie, who are honorable mentions.
Next season, Helm reloads with McCreadie, Nelson, Shain, Parker Dumas and Justin McLauchlin, who got varsity time against Liberty. One question for 2014 is how this group can step up as the leaders that Riley and Botten have been.
Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Below left, Trent Riley charges into the paint, full speed; Below right, Tyler McCreadie, Parker Dumas, Smith and Levi Botten confer, lining up prior to a Wildcat free throw attempt.