'Cat girls miss chance in state

The Mount Si Wildcat girls' basketball season, which had so much promise coming out of the Kingco Tournament, came to an extremely disappointing end last week.

Wildcats run into brick wall known as Ladyhawks

The Wildcat's reward for beating Ingraham on Feb. 16 in the quarterfinals was a matchup with the Chief Sealth Ladyhawks. By now many know of the controversy stemming from the story in the Seattle Times alleging illegal recruitment of players by Chief Sealth's coaches, but the lingering distractions did not stop the Ladyhawks from posting another blowout victory.

Mount Si put up a respectable effort in the first half, but the second half was all Sealth, as the Ladyhawks only allowed 12 Wildcat points in a 71-28 victory. Most of unbeaten Sealth's victories this season have been of the blowout variety.

"It's hard for me to tell my 5-foot, 5-inch girl to go guard that 6-foot, 4-inch girl (Ladyhawk junior Christina Nzekwe, who scored 17 points) with a straight face, but we did and my girls played hard. I asked them to play hard and mix it up with them. I think we did the best we could," said Mount Si coach Dirk Hansen. Not only did Nzekwe pose a size problem for the Wildcats, there was fellow Sealth star junior post Regina Rogers, at 6-foot, 3-inches. Rogers scored a game high 18 to lead the Ladyhawks. Nicole Remish and Caitie Richards scored 10 points each to lead Mount Si.

Prep does it again as offense goes very cold

Last Thursday night, the Wildcats had one more shot to make state. Unfortunately, it was against the team that eliminated Mount Si in 2005 from the playoffs in the first round of the district tournament. And like that first-round 2005 game, Seattle Prep once again eliminated the Wildcats from postseason with a convincing 56-40 victory. The Panthers make it to state after beating three great Kingco teams, the Wildcats, Newport and Bellevue, to get there.

Mount Si's offense was very cold in the contest, going a combined 11 for 63 from the floor, and just 16 for 37 from the free throw line. The Wildcats clearly had a chance to win this game, but their offense didn't deliver in crunch time. Symone Shaw delivered a double-double of 15 rebounds and 10 points to lead Mount Si.

Next season

The Wildcats finished the season 18-8 and made some history along the way, winning a district tournament game for the first time under Hansen and going 4-for-3 against Kingco 3A's elite, including a great Kingco Tournament win over Newport that set up this post-season drive.

The 2006-07 season is expected to be strong yet again. With the return of Yakaboski and Richards (as sophomores), and Shaw (as a junior), Mount Si looks to be very competitive next season. Skyline's return to the league will certainly make things that much tougher in an already tough league.

Losing Remish and the Eddings twins to graduation will hurt, for sure, but Alisha Larion, who will be a junior next season, should fill the post role very well, and the young depth, led by sophomore-to-be Jordyn Wilson, will likely step up and make some noise, as well.

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