Wildcat girls roll into postseason

The Mount Si Wildcat girls' basketball team last Tuesday night beat the Bellevue Wolverines, and in doing so reached two big benchmarks. However, it was not easy as the Wolverines forced overtime to decide it.

Bellevue junior Cody Brazen's basket with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 67-67, and after numerous missed opportunities on both sides, the game went to the extra session with that same 67-67 tie. Brazen finished with 26 points. However, Wildcat freshman sensation Madison Yakaboski came through in the clutch in overtime, hitting three key free throws in the last 23 seconds. This gave Mount Si a 79-76 win over the Wolverines, a win that gave the Wildcats 10 league wins, good for a third-place finish in Kingco 3A, and also gave Mount Si coach Dirk Hansen his 100th win as the head girls' basketball coach.

Hansen, however, doesn't want to focus on his accomplishment.

"The important thing is not that I got the 100th win," Hansen said. "I'm not into that. I'm not into stats. I'm into developing good young athletes in the basketball program here at Mount Si and ... what matters is them."

Yakaboski finished with 26 points of her own, while senior Tara Eddings scored 25, Nicole Remish scored 15 and sophomore Symone Shaw scored 11 to pace the Wildcats. Lauren Coombs scored 17 to pace Bellevue.

Despite Newport's best efforts, Mount Si played spoiler last Thursday, costing the Knights a shot at the Kingco crown. Newport was fighting for the league girls' basketball title with Issaquah, who played last place Sammamish.

Yakaboski scored 21 points to help Mount Si outlast a game-high 22 from the Knights' Tricia Dixon, and the Wildcats won 69-61. Issaquah beat Sammamish, so the Eagles won the league title.

The win came at a big price, though, for Mount Si, as Tara Eddings went down with a knee injury early in the fourth quarter and did not return. Hansen was relieved to hear the diagnosis, because it could have been much worse.

"It's a contusion," Hansen said. "I don't think its a sprain, so that's a good thing. We've just got to get her iced up and get her healthy, because we need her."

Reserve Kali Walker was pleased with her team's effort.

"We came out, we wanted it, and we played our hardest, and it was a special game for a special night, and I think we all just gave it our all, and left it all on the court," Walker said.

Remish added 16 points to pace the Wildcats.

The game was the final home game for the five Mount Si seniors: twins Tara and Chelsie Eddings, Remish, Walker and Jessica Marley. Walker looked back on her four years in the program.

"I've had a lot of fun. I've learned a lot," Walker said. "It's just been a really good time, and I think it's something everyone should have the chance to experience."

Walker also told the Valley Record she plans on going to college at Miami University of Ohio, the college alma mater of the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Mount Si opened the Kingco Tournament on Tuesday; there may be games Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, so check the Valley Record's parent newspaper, the King County Journal, for scores and schedule information. The Wildcats are expected to make the SeaKing District Tournament, and are likely to contend for a state berth. Remish thinks her team can go far.

"I think we can go as far as our heart takes us," she said.

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