The score was lopsided, but the Mount Si girls never gave up.
The Wildcat varsity team skews young, yet has a lot of heart even in a season that has seen few wins. But the score didn’t make a difference in the team’s attitude last Wednesday, Jan. 22, when, down in a road game, the girls scrapped for balls with a physical Mercer Island team down to the last buzzer.
“We’re fighting to prove that we can do it,” said senior Kylie McLaughlin. “People remember a team that doesn’t ever give up. We’d like to be that team.”
On Wednesday night, she, Camryn Buck, Hayden Frederick, Elizabeth Prewitt and Annie Heibert could be seen battling through a sea of waving arms and tall foes. While Wildcat shots didn’t always go in, plenty of attempts were made.
Mount Si put up 24 points to Mercer’s 71. Freshman guard Frederick scored five points for Mount Si, as did junior forward Prewitt.
Freshman wing Mady Privatsky had three points. Adding two apiece were sophomore guard Buck, sophomore post Hiebert, senior post Sally Nelson, freshman guard Emma Smith and freshman post Scout Turner. Sophomore wing Makayla Turpin sank a free throw.
McLaughlin watched the score, but for her, it’s the way the Wildcats are playing that’s more important.
“If we’re giving all we’ve got, that’s what matters.”
When the team gets behind, passes can get sloppy. She tries to make sure that, “if someone’s down, we help them, and keep encouraging each other.”
McLaughlin, among those initiating plays from center court, keeps an eye out for whoever’s ready to get the ball.
On Wednesday, though, Mercer was beating Mount Si on defense, getting past the Wildcats’ screens and blocking their shots.
“We always have one rough quarter, that’s not that great,” McLaughlin said. “We know we can be better than we, are, so we keep pushing.”
She sees herself as setting the tone, and ensuring that everyone feels included.
“We all love each other and we’re all really close,” said Frederick. “There are moments where the intensity drops. But we all have talent, we all know we can work to our best. We just have to have that confidence.”
In her role as a point and shooting guard, “I try my best to hustle, to set an example,” Frederick said. “I don’t want to have them feel like I’m not doing my best when they’re doing their best.”
She shouted out freshman Scout Turner, who “did an awesome job at rebounding and going at it hard. Elizabeth posted awesome as always.”
Going forward, “I really want to see the team put everything together and have one really successful game, all four quarters,” Prewitt told the Record.
“We had it down in California,” where Mount Si won games in a high school tournament. Things were working and flowing, Prewitt said. She wants that energy back.
Mount Si is loaded with freshmen this year, who have earned praise from older players.
“I remember being a freshman, coming in on varsity,” Prewitt said. “It’s intimidating. Speed is much faster, girls are bigger, stronger. The shots you get in JV or select are not there. It’s not just the physical thing, but the mindset. You have to be aware of the game.
“They’ve been able to handle that really well. As they get experience, continue through the program, they can really be successful,” she added.
• The Mount Si girls play Interlake, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29. They visit Juanita at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Annie Hiebert makes her move down the left.
Kylie McLaughlin keeps an eye on the ball during an Islander play in the second half.
Freshman Scout Turner looks for an opening.
Mady Privatsky comes around the site to face Mercer's Jess Blakeslee.
Hiebert works her way around the outside.
A multitasking Camryn Buck on defense
Buck fires a free throw
Prewitt takes aim on the free throw line
Mount Si freshman Emma Smith initiates an offensive play
Smith at the free throw line.
Junior Madi Bevens makes a pass
Mount Si players practice shots at the half
Through a sea of Islander arms, Prewitt fights for a shot at the basket
Battle under the net: Mercer's Jess Blakeslee tries to strip the ball from Prewitt
Scout Turner goes arms wide to block a shot
Sophomore Bre Bolves fires a free throw shot
Seizing the opportunity, Frederick races down the court.
Hayden Frederick angles for a shot.
Keep back! Elizabeth Prewitt looks for a pass.