Wildcat girls on cruise control

SAMMAMISH - The Mount Si Wildcat girls' basketball team used a strong first quarter to wallop the Sammamish Totems last Monday at Sammamish, but they may have paid a huge price in the process.

Senior Whitney Beyerlin scored 16 points as the Wildcats outscored the Totems 20-3 in the first frame en route to a 53-33 win. The easy win was marred by a key injury: junior Tori Ewing. The newcomer has made a significant early impact on the team this season and left the game early due to a knee injury. How long she will be out is the subject of some debate. Ewing said last Tuesday that she would be out a week. However, Mount Si coach Dirk Hansen said on Wednesday he does not expect her back until after the holiday break, pending evaluation of the injury by a doctor. Either way, considering where the team is currently in the schedule, the Wildcats can withstand this injury without much damage to their playoff chances. Ewing put the injury in perspective.

"I'm trying not to make it a big scare. I don't want anyone to freak out," Ewing said.

Without Ewing, the Wildcats rolled into Interlake last Friday night and left with a 36-point rout under their belts, 73-37. A balanced offensive attack led by Beyerlin's game-high 20 points helped Mount Si to the win. The Wildcats, at 3-1 in league, go into the break tied for second place with Newport and Issaquah. Bellevue is 4-0 and one game ahead in first place.

The Wildcats are now off for the holiday break, then head to Yakima for the inaugural Central Washington Holiday Hoop Classic Dec. 28-30.

Hansen said that these tournaments, which the Wildcats are competing in for the second straight season, are more than just about winning games.

"The Christmas tournament things are team builders, so we're going to go down, and you know what, we're going to celebrate the holidays. We're going to celebrate with some different scenery and I'm looking forward to taking the girls to Miners Hamburgers. Miners is a place where you can get good hamburgers, and I'm looking forward to going down there and playing the best basketball we can," said Hansen. "We know we're playing Bellarmine Prep first, and after that we don't know, don't care. We're going to go down there and have some fun and play some hoops, and just make it a good three days, man. That's what we're going to do. It's not all basketball, all the time."

Scheduled to compete in the tournament are several teams from Washington and one from Oregon. The Oregon squad is from Hermiston, now known as the high school alma mater of Seattle Mariner baseball fan favorite Bucky Jacobsen. In addition, the Kingco 4A's Inglemoor Vikings from Kenmore and Metro 3A Ingraham Rams from Seattle are also in the tournament being hosted by both West Valley (Yakima) and Ellensburg high schools, but being played at West Valley's gym this year.

The first Wildcat tournament game is scheduled for Dec. 28 at 2:15 p.m. against 4A Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma at West Valley High School. Games will also occur Dec. 29 and 30, all during the day, at one of two sites: either the high school or at West Valley Junior High.

Mount Si's junior varsity girls' team, coached by Tina Washington, is also competing in the tournament. Their first contest is on Dec. 28 at 12:30 p.m., prior to the varsity contest, against Bellarmine Prep's JV team.

Mount Si will return home Jan. 7 for a contest with the tough Wolverines. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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