Cedarcrest lady hoopsters lose narrowly to Islanders

BELLEVUE — The Cedarcrest girls' basketball

team played Mercer Island Wednesday night in a loser-out playoff

game that could have gone either way.

Mercer Island's 6-foot-1 center Ambyr Recchi was out with

an injured ankle, and senior forward 6-foot Jenni Backes had been

out for the last three games because of an ankle injury,

giving Cedarcrest a clear advantage for a win.

Ironically, last year in the same loser-out round of

the Kingco playoffs, Mercer Island beat Cedarcrest 37-33 in

overtime. The Islanders also claimed victory over the Red Wolves' on

January 19th, when they beat Cedarcrest 47-32.

Luckily for the Islanders, the lack of two key starters did

not pose a threat. They clung to another victory over the Red

Wolves with a score of 53-49, forcing them out of the tournament.

The game was off to a slow start with Mercer Island's

young, and much shorter, lineup of three sophomores, a junior and a

senior leading the team, which allowed Cedarcrest a lead of 7-6 with

only one minute left in the first quarter. But a couple of baskets

by Mercer Island followed by a series of missed shots by

Cedarcrest resulted in a lead by the Islanders that was difficult for the

Red Wolves to turn around before the end of the quarter. The score

was 8-7.

Cedarcrest's swift steals from the Islanders late in the

second quarter, followed by a couple of successful foul shots, helped

them gain a lead of three. But within minutes, the Red Wolves'

lead was broken by Beth Richards' two foul shots and the Islanders

caught up to bring themselves within a point. Cedarcrest led 19-18 at


Cedarcrest hung on to their one-point lead until late in

the third quarter, but was out-shot with the help of Richards'

3-pointer that pulled the Islanders ahead 33-29 by the end of

the third quarter.

Mercer Island came back equally as hard in the fourth

quarter, but Cedarcrest was not ready to give up. They had been

neck-to-neck with the Islanders before and knew this game was their

last chance at revenge, and a district berth.

With a nine-point lead and only three minutes left in

the game, Cedarcrest's Lindsay Peterson and Mercer

Island's Courtney Reimers each sunk 2-point baskets. The score

narrowed to 50-47 with less than two minutes remaining in the

game. Cedarcrest's Libbye Haddon sunk a layin. Then Mercer

Island sophomore Allison Sorba reciprocated with 37 seconds to

go. Cedarcrest gained possession of the ball but was unable to

make any more shots. Mercer Island's Beth Richards made one of

two free throws with 11 seconds left in play to end the game 53-49.

Peterson led the Red Wolves' with 15 points for the night.

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