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Wildcats fall to Newport
The undefeated season for the Mount Si Wildcats boys' basketball team came to a stunning end last Tuesday night, as the upstart Newport Knights pulled the biggest upset of the season so far in Kingco 3A.
Brennon Schweikart's free throws with less than 19 seconds left in regulation broke a 47-47 tie, and after Mount Si failed to tie the game on the ensuing possessions, the Knights escaped with a 49-47 win, ending the Wildcats' perfect run.
"Well, I'm just real proud of my kids as far as hanging in there," said Newport coach Dave Olzendam. "We did start off fairly hot from the outside and we were shooting the ball real well, then to Mount Si's credit, they came back and went ahead, but our kids never let up."
Newport started off well from outside; at one point they were 5 for 8 from outside three-point range, but finished 5 for 12 from outside. Erik Monger scored 13 to lead the Knights, and Monger sees this win as a start of something big for his team.
"Mount Si is a really great team and you got to hand it to them, but I think we're for real," Monger said.
Kevin Englund scored 18 to lead all scorers for the Wildcats. Newport broke out to an early lead, only to see Mount Si come back. The Wildcats trailed by one, 28-27, at the break. The two teams battled hard in the second half and Mount Si appeared to have many chances to put the Knights away, but failed to do so. Newport's Brandon Mezistrano, who scored 11 points, said his team used the loud Wildcat crowd to their advantage.
"I think when the crowd started heckling us, it just got our team excited and ready to play, so the louder they got, the more intense we got, and we just took it to them hard," he said.
Following the final horn the Knights and their fans celebrated wildly. That celebration extended into their locker room. One could understand why; as Mount Si coach Garrick Phillips put it, the Knights' victory "made their season."
"I thought we were a little bit flat. We didn't take care of the ball like we should've, and we didn't shoot the ball particularly well tonight," said the Wildcats coach who vowed, "We're just going to stay the course."
Ryan Reilly added 13 to pace the Wildcats.