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Wildcat girls on road to postseason
SNOQUALMIE - The Mount Si Wildcat girls' basketball team locked up at least a fourth seed ranking in the upcoming Kingco Tournament last Tuesday at home with a rout of the hapless Interlake Saints.
The Wildcats outscored the Saints 31-9 in the second quarter to break open what had been a surprisingly close game to start between the two teams, then Mount Si cruised to the 78-37 pasting.
All except one Wildcat who suited up scored points in the victory, and although she was the lone scoreless Wildcat, sophomore Monica Nelson contributed aggressively on defense to help the cause. Junior Nicole Remish scored 15 to lead the Wildcats and senior Rachel Travis added 12, despite being assessed a technical foul. Junior Chelsie Eddings popped in 10 to pace the victors.
"We just played well as a team and everyone was doing well, the posts and the guards," said senior Marie Will.
The win meant big things for the team going into the postseason and Wildcat coach Dirk Hansen was pleased.
"We are very, very happy to be in the playoffs. We're excited about that. We're in the Kingco Tournament, and we're in the district tournament as well [with one Kingco tourney win], and so we are very, very excited about that," Hansen said. "Once we get into that tournament, everybody's record is right out the window and we feel our chances of advancing in the playoffs are as good as any team in the Kingco, so we're excited about that."
As for her technical call, which came midway through the fourth quarter, Travis had an explanation.
"I was nowhere near the play and they called a foul on me and I said, 'That's baloney' and then he [the referee] called a technical foul on me," Travis said.
Travis added she was cordial to the officials afterwards.
"I apologized after the game and we shook hands, so no hard feelings," Travis said.
Interlake's Jenny Rice hit both of the technical free throws and finished with eight points to lead the Saints in defeat.
Mount Si played without the services of senior Kaycee Crossan, who was out with strep throat.
Crossan was back in action Friday as she joined her senior teammates on "Senior Night." It was the final home game as Wildcats for Crossan and five other seniors: Will, Travis, Whitney Beyerlin, Amy Brevick and Shannon Posey. Hansen's starting lineup consisted of all seniors, and the game finished with all seniors on the floor as Mount Si moved to within one game of third place in the conference by defeating Mercer Island 50-34.
Beyerlin was moved by the events of the evening.
"It was really intense and we had a lot of energy because we had such a big crowd being senior night and all. We just really wanted to get out there and play hard for the seniors since it is our last home game and play hard for the fans," said Beyerlin, who led all scorers with 12 points.
Remish added 11 for the victors as well. Ellie Chapman scored eight points to lead the Islanders in defeat.
Unlike the teams' previous meeting at Mercer Island, this game was close until midway through the fourth quarter. Hansen praised the Islanders.
"[MI coach] Jamie Prescott has done a great job with the Mercer Island girls up there," Hansen said. "They've got one senior on their team and they're going to be a tough team to deal with. They're scrappy, they play hard and they shoot the ball a lot better than we do, and, I tell you what, there's a lot of lessons to be learned with a game like this."
Will was thankful for her opportunity to participate in the Mount Si girls' basketball program.
"I'm just going to celebrate the opportunity that I got to play here and move on and go to college," Will said, adding she's looking at either California Baptist or Bellevue Community College.
For Crossan though, the night was more bittersweet, as her basketball journey is coming to an end.
"Well, this is the end of my basketball career," Crossan said.
The Wildcats wrap up their season with a contest Friday at Newport. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.
Kingco Tournament postseason action for the girls begins Tuesday, at a time to be determined at Bellevue Community College (BCC). Action continues through Friday, with all games except two games Wednesday at BCC; Wednesday's games (should Mount Si play) will be at Issaquah High School. Admission to the tournament games is $6 for adults, $4 for Mount Si students with an ASB card. The top five teams make the SeaKing District field.