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Mount Si Girl Wildcat's solidify tournament position
The Mount Si girls' basketball team won its most important game thus far in the season, a 42-38 victory over the Newport Knights in what proved to be a close affair Friday night in KingCo 3A action at Mount Si High School.
"It was a very intense game," said Mount Si coach Dirk Hansen. "It quite possibly is the most stressful thing a human body can go through."
Nicci Landdeck scored a game-high 12 points to lead all scorers for Mount Si, but Rachel Travis was the story. She scored seven critical points down the stretch, including an NBA-range three-pointer with just seconds remaining on the shot clock with about four minutes left in the game, and what turned out to be the go-ahead bucket with 40 seconds left. She then iced the game with two free throws with 10 seconds left.
"Wow, a stunning game," said Travis.
It was pressure packed from the outset. There were a total of 13 lead changes in the game. The largest lead either team had at any one time was six points, and that was early on in the first quarter, when Mount Si's Lizzie Finnegan scored the first six straight points to put the Wildcats up 6-0.
Finnegan finished with nine points. Jenny Jensen scored 11 off the bench to lead Newport, while Kira Hollenbeck scored seven for the Knights.
After the game, Hansen sent a warning to the rest of the conference.
"The girls stepped up tonight and showed Newport that we can play in the Sky Division," he said. "And you know what? We showed the rest of the KingCo, who picked us to finish last, that we can play with you guys."
Hansen also told his players that a win would put them in the KingCo tournament, and he is probably right. With four games left in the schedule, the Wildcats, with the win, picked up a very important head-to-head tiebreaker (2-0 versus the Knights).
If Mount Si and Newport finish tied for third place in the Sky Division, the Wildcats likely would receive a spot in the tournament.
The schedule, though, is difficult. Bellevue and Skyline, two of the three elite teams in the conference, remain, as does a much-improved Mercer Island squad, so it's still unclear as to what will happen. But Mount Si's win is a good insurance policy.