Mount Si girls' split week's games

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MERCER ISLAND - The Mount Si Wildcats girls' basketball team returned to Kingco 3A play following the winter break last Wednesday.

The layoff from conference play did not show as Mount Si overcame a slow start early and easily cruised to a road win over the Mercer Island Islanders.

Senior Rachel Travis scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Wildcats to the 72-42 decision over Mercer Island. The offensive effort was balanced, with Whitney Beyerlin adding 14 points, including a couple of critical three-pointers in the second half, while Shannon Posey and Nicole Remish each added 13 points.

Mount Si's stifling defense led to a large number of turnovers by Mercer Island, mostly on traveling calls. Referees called a similar number of traveling violations on the Wildcats, which didn't sit well with Mount Si fans.

The Islanders caused some trouble for the Wildcats to start the game. They broke out to a quick lead behind two three-pointers from sophomore Katie Stadius, who finished with 16 points. Stadius' early effort enabled the Islanders to keep things competitive through the end of the first quarter and MI trailed Mount Si by just one point, 12-11, to end the frame.

Then the Wildcats took over, outscoring the Islanders 21-7 in the second quarter, including one 12-0 run midway through the period, to build a nice halftime cushion. Mount Si then outscored MI again 22-8 in the fourth stanza to slam the door shut.

The Wildcats lost a tough one to Bellevue at home on Friday and it was all about the interior play. Mount Si controlled the paint in the first quarter, and as a result led at the end of the frame. The Wolverines, tied for first with the Wildcats coming into the game, seized control of the inside game in the second quarter. They never looked back, always responding to whatever Mount Si had to offer. The end result was a 66-55 Bellevue victory that saw the Wildcats get knocked out of first place.

"I don't know whether it was just us playing lousy defense, or them [Bellevue] just being that much more athletic than us; they [Bellevue] certainly looked really athletic tonight," said Mount Si coach Dirk Hansen, who then, referring to the large number of open looks Bellevue had as a result of controlling the interior, joked, "I don't claim to be a great athlete by any means, but if I have wide open jump shots like that, me, 41 years old and a little overweight, I'm going to knock those shots down."

Senior Catherine Quehrn scored 17 points and credited her team for the victory.

"We played great as a team. Our loss Wednesday night at Issaquah was a huge learning experience. It helped us out. We wanted to take it out on the next team, so that's what we did," Quehrn said.

Sophomore post Cody Brazen was key to the interior attack for the Wolverines as she scored 15 points. Bellevue coach Rebecca Valdivia offered praise for Brazen.

"Cody did a really good job inside of being strong," Valdivia said.

Jamie Webber and Gretchen Buchberger scored a dozen points each to pace the Wolverines, among the top teams in the state.

Posey scored 12 points to lead Mount Si; six of the senior's points came in the first quarter when the Wildcats had control of the paint. Beyerlin added 11 to pace Mount Si in defeat.

Valdivia put the win in perspective.

"It's just another win for us right now. We're looking forward to playing our next league game and just playing consistently throughout," she said.

After playing Newport at home Wednesday, Mount Si hosts Issaquah on Friday. Both the Knights and Eagles, as of last Friday, lay claim to a share of first place in Kingco 3A, along with the Wolverines. Issaquah defeated the Wildcats earlier in the year without the services of star senior Lauren Dascenzo, out with an illness at the time. She has since returned, making the Eagles a much better team.

Game times for the two contests are 7:30 p.m.

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