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Lady 'Cats drop three close ones
The practice and "warm-up" games are over and league play
has begun, and the Mount Si Lady Wildcats _ as expected _ are now
looking up at a mountain.
Perhaps "mountain range" would be more descriptive for a
two-week period that features games with Ellensburg, Sammamish,
Liberty, Bellevue, Enumclaw and Garfield. Still, the Lady `Cats persevere,
knowing full well that the knocks they sustain now should help deliver a
tight, well-knit team for the second half of the season.
On Saturday night, Dec. 4, Mount Si hosted the squad from Federal
Way and fell by a score of 49-35. The following Tuesday they again came
out on the short end, dropping a tough one to Ellensburg 53-43. Then came
last Friday night's KingCo 3A opener against Sammamish, which saw
the Totems prevail by a score of 47-41.
In the first contest with the Pirates of Federal Way, junior Moriah
Hover led the scoring with 13 points, followed by Jessii Raisio's 8.
Frosh starter Nicci Landdeck did her part, pulling in a team-leading 10
rebounds. Three nights later Landdeck delivered the offensive damage
against Ellensburg, recording 10 points. Teammate Raisio scored nine,
Hover and Lindsay Ratcliffe recorded eight each, and sophomore forward
Danielle "Danny" Teller notched seven.
Afterwards Coach Hansen rated his team's performance against
the Bulldogs as "solid," adding it was
his team's best effort so far this year.
"It was a great game played in front of a packed house," said
Hansen. "We played them within two points all night long, and I think we caught
them by surprise. After pounding us in the summer league, I think they
underestimated our hustle.
The lead changed hands six times during the game before Ellensburg
finally put it away. "It came down to some fouls at the end," Hansen
added. ""They made their free-throws and
we missed ours."
The hardwood `Cats played it tough again Friday night
at Sammamish, but this time they saw an early 16-6 lead evaporate. The
two squads fought back and forth until the fourth quarter when, with five
minutes left in the game, the Totems finally pulled away.
Landdeck was again the leading scorer for the Wildcats, dumping in
a total of 13 points. In trail were Raisio and Hover, with 11 each, and
Ratcliffe with six. Hover also dominated in rebounds, taking 14 off the boards.
"We should've beat Sammamish," Hansen said Monday. "That's
one thing you have to really focus on when you're coaching a young team,
they've got to be ready to finish a game. We were ahead and weren't able to
The coach said he'd take the blame due to his substitution policy,
which he rated as "poor." "The last three
or four minutes we didn't have any legs, and my girls are in great shape."
Unfortunately, the rocky schedule isn't due to improve any time
soon. Last Monday night the Lady `Cats traveled to Issaquah to face off
with 3-1 Liberty, who opened their conference chase with a 59-39 thumping
of Mercer Island. This Friday night's opponent, Bellevue, was also
victorious opening night, taking down Issaquah 51-43.
It could get worse; next week the Wildcats take on two 4A
teams, Enumclaw and Garfield, on consecutive nights.
"Liberty is probably the best team in the KingCo," Coach Hansen
commented. "I think they are as good as Bellevue and as good as
Issaquah. Bellevue is the number one team in the state, and I'm wondering how
my girls are going to react.
"This is definitely going to be one tough week for us. We definitely
need to keep our spirits, get what we can get, and have got to keep things in
perspective. Coach Appelgate and I have our work cut out for us.
"But, we're going to have a strong finish," he concluded. "I