Girls make statement in Yakima

SNOQUALMIE - Just two years ago, the Mount Si Wildcat girls basketball program, under coach Dirk Hansen, was not competing in tournaments over the winter holiday break.

One wonders what took them so long to give it a shot. Last year, in their maiden tournament effort in Phoenix, Mount Si finished a strong second place. This year, it was no different in the inaugural Central Washington Hoop Classic in Yakima. At West Valley High School, the Wildcats rallied from a halftime deficit in their first game last Tuesday and behind the 17 points of Whitney Beyerlin, took care of the Bellarmine Prep Lions of Tacoma 47-41. The Lions are a 4A Narrows League school.

On Wednesday, Mount Si got it done once again using another strong Beyerlin effort to down the Bulldogs from Hermiston, Ore. The 62-59 win was anchored by 22 from the Wildcat senior sharpshooter. The game was tight throughout, but Mount Si advanced to the tournament's inaugural final by beating the school best known now as the high-school alma mater of Seattle Mariners baseball fan favorite Bucky Jacobsen.

In the championship game on Thursday, the Wildcats and the Inglemoor Vikings of Kingco 4A from Kenmore battled one another hard until the end. Despite a 16-point effort from junior Nicole Remish, Mount Si fell 60-56. The Wildcats go into the second half of its schedule with a 7-3 record, 3-1 in conference.

The Wildcats return home to host the Bellevue Wolverines in a very important battle for position at the top of the Kingco standings on Friday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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