Mount Si girls grab win as season rolls | Basketball

Aubrey Larion soars for the basket during play at home last Friday, Jan. 16, against Bellevue. The Mount Si girls are showing improvement, but fell that night to a well-prepared Bellevue squad, 67-50. - Mark Lowry / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Aubrey Larion soars for the basket during play at home last Friday, Jan. 16, against Bellevue. The Mount Si girls are showing improvement, but fell that night to a well-prepared Bellevue squad, 67-50.
— image credit: Mark Lowry / Snoqualmie Valley Record

The Mount Si girls basketball team showed some improvement last week, as they faced two of the better teams in the league in Interlake and Bellevue .

Last Wednesday, Jan. 14, the Wildcats welcomed in a Saints team that is looking much better this season than in past years. Coming in, they were 9-2 and ranked ninth in the Associated Press state 2A high school girls basketball poll.

However, thanks to some tough defense and solid clutch shooting, Mount Si picked up their first win in a little over a month and appear poised to make a strong second-half run.

Caitie Richards scored 22 points and Aubrey Larion added 10 points and seven rebounds as Mount Si dispatched Interlake, 67-49.

“We’re really happy with the way we’re coming around,” said Wildcat coach Dirk Hansen. “We’re starting to develop a little bit of an identity, which is something that we haven’t had up to this point, but it’s something that we always have been working for.”

Richards stole the ball nine times, part of a solid 26-steal key defensive effort by Mount Si as a team. Sarah Anderegg scored 27 to lead the Saints, but once she fouled out with a little over two minutes left in the game, what had been a close contest broke wide open in favor of the Wildcats.

Sophomore forward Hailey Eddings was celebrating her 16th birthday, and she pitched in a nice eight-point effort.

“It was like ‘Hey, it’s my birthday. I have to do good,’” Eddings said.

Among the interested observers at last Wednesday’s game was none other than Bellevue’s coach, Ron Tinnin. Tinnin, whose team was off that night, was there scouting, and his work paid dividends last Friday, as his Wolverines team’s defense prevented Mount Si from doing many of the same things as well as they did in the Interlake game. Add to that a solid 16 points from Emilie Gilbert, and it all resulted in a 67-50 Bellevue win over the Wildcats.

“They shot well. Hats off to them, they are a really good team,” said Hansen. Bellevue shot 53 percent from the floor, while Mount Si shot just 35 percent. The Wolverines also collected 24 rebounds, eight of them offensively.

“I think we had a good hustle,” Larion said. “We gave it all we got; I think they just beat us on the perimeter.” Bellevue outshot Mount Si from beyond the arc 40 to 38 percent.

Richards scored 11 points to lead the Wildcats. Stevie Riley pitched in eight to contribute to the cause for Mount Si.

The Wolverines broke out to an early 7-0 lead before Mount Si recovered, getting back to within one at 12-11 late in the first quarter. After that, threes by Carly Cahill and Alyssa Gilbert put Bellevue back out comfortably. From that point on, the Wolverines maintained control of proceedings, and got their lead up to as many as 24 points in the second half before settling back down for the victory. Alyssa Gilbert added 11 points while Stephanie Frederick pitched in 10 points to aid the Wolverines’ cause. Catelyn Webber, who had come into the game as Bellevue’s top scorer, was held to just seven points, a good result for Mount Si’s defense. Another positive for the Wildcats was that all players in uniform picked up points, a nice benefit of Hansen’s new substitution system which involves a mass change of players about midway through each quarter between team starters and reserves.

Mount Si learned quite a bit facing these two strong teams.

“We learned that no matter how hard we work, as long as we work hard, we can still know that we just played a good game,” freshman Sarah McDonald said. “No matter how hard we play, we’re still a team.”

Mount Si travels to play Liberty Friday, Jan. 23, as they look to rebound from their early-season home loss against a surprisingly good Patriots team. Game time is 6:30 p.m.

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