Boys team looming large

For the Mount Si Wildcat boys' basketball team, last week was an important week. Based on what happened in those two games, it appears now that this team is in the driver's seat in Kingco 3A, possibly on the verge of repeating the same kind of success the Wildcats' baseball team had last spring.

The Wildcats, who came into last week No. 7 in the Seattle Times 3A state boys' basketball poll, went to Sammamish last Tuesday to face the preseason league favorite Totems. Sammamish manhandled Mount Si on the offensive glass 20-8, and had a player, Jaz Giachetti, bag a double-double, 14 points and 12 rebounds, but a strange thing happened: the Wildcats won.

Behind a 14-point effort from senior Kevin Englund, Mount Si rolled out to a 38-25 lead after three quarters and held on for a very important 55-48 win over the suddenly vulnerable Totems. Sammamish, who also has lost to Bellevue in league this season, was led in scoring by Danny Bright, who scored 19 points, a game high.

Senior Kyle Meuli and junior Tommy Abbott pitched in 11 points each to help the Wildcats, and Kyle Clearman added 10 to pace Mount Si.

After a number of close games to start the season, the Wildcats last Friday scored early and often, and made quick work of the Interlake Saints. Behind a big 23-point effort from Meuli, Mount Si had a 17-point lead at halftime on the way to a huge 68-43 win over the Saints. Jimmy King, the last remaining key player from the Saints' success of the last two seasons, scored a game high 24 to lead Interlake. Scott Galland chipped in 10 for the Saints in the losing effort.

Englund scored 17 and Ryan Reilly pitched in 11 to pace Mount Si. Key to the victory was the rebounding: the Wildcats outrebounded the Saints 49-31, with a 20-13 advantage on the offensive glass.

Mount Si hosts Eastside Catholic today at 7:30 p.m., then it's on to the holiday tournament over in Ellensburg. On tap are Ellensburg and West Valley of Yakima, both 3A schools, and Hockinson, a 2A school from Southwest Washington.

The Wildcats will return from the break for a very tough week of games. First, it's a road game at Mercer Island on Tuesday, Jan. 3, then possibly a big game at home Friday, Jan. 6, against the Wolverines. Bellevue, who as of last Friday was also unbeaten in league, could come in tied for first, or even in first by themselves, in league, even though their main interior player from last season, Stephen Schilling, decided not to play this season. Mount Si will look to avenge last season's playoff tie-breaker loss to the Wolverines, which ended the Wildcats' season.

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