Important win for girls hoops

Mount Si’s Caitie Richards looks for a shot through the Totems defense. - Mark Lowry / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Mount Si’s Caitie Richards looks for a shot through the Totems defense.
— image credit: Mark Lowry / Snoqualmie Valley Record

The Mount Si girls basketball season is starting to get back on track, after two big wins last week, including their most important one of the season.

The Mount Si girls went into Sammamish last Wednesday, Jan, 28, knowing that a win was pretty much in hand, considering that the Wildcats blew out the Totems back in December. It was a good night for a number of Wildcats, as Mount Si rolled to a 63-12 win over Sammamish.

The efforts were led by a double-double — 14 points, 12 rebounds — from Hailey Eddings. Sarah McDonald scored 11 and Caitie Richards added 10 to pace the Wildcats.

“It was really fun, too, because we got to work on our game a little,” Eddings said.

The win against Sammamish set up Mount Si’s most important game of the season so far, last Saturday night, Jan. 31, at Juanita. That game was a make-up after being postponed Jan. 9 due to flooding in the Valley.

A win would put the Wildcats in the fourth spot in league, which this year means a home game in the Kingco Tournament. Mount Si struggled at times, but an 11-2 run to close the third quarter became key, and the Wildcats scored the victory, 52-39 over the Rebels.

It was a nice birthday present for Mount Si assistant coach Ryan Hill, and he couldn’t be happier for his team.

“It was nice to play well against a good team,” Hill said. “It’s the best we’ve played in a long time, so it just feels good to see their hard work paying off for them.”

Mount Si head coach Dirk Hansen credits conditioning for the win.

“We’ve had a lot of peaks and valleys this year re garding morale,” Hansen said. “It’s no fun when you’re working hard and losing.

“We’ve made some changes,” Hansen added. “We’re spending three days a week in the weight room doing weight training. We’re working on our footwork, and the basketball stuff is coming second. Tonight was a weight room win for us.”

Richards scored 14 to lead all scorers for Mount Si. She was the only one to score in double figures. Jori Braun scored nine to aid the Wildcat efforts. Braun is ready for a breather after a tough week, both on the floor and in the weight room.

“None of us can really feel our legs right about now,” she said.

Mount Si opened the game with an early lead, and it appeared the team would be in good shape. The Wildcats were able to push their advantage to as many as seven points before the Rebels rallied early in the second quarter to tie things at 17-17. Stevie Riley’s three with 2:23 left in the frame put Mount Si up 20-17. Eddings hit a second-chance basket at the buzzer to send the Wildcats into the locker room up 22-19.

Juanita’s Kimberly Baba and Taylor Paddock each hit buckets to open the third quarter, giving the Rebels the lead, 23-22. Eddings, though, answered with a pair of free throws with 5:40 left in the frame to get the Wildcats back into the lead 24-23. It stayed close, then Juanita’s Olivia Marshall hit a three to tie things back up at 28-28 with 4:33 left. Mount Si went to work from that point and proceeded to go on their previously mentioned run which closed the quarter. McDonald, Eddings and Jordyn Wilson all hit baskets in this span, and the Wildcats were in control.

The Wildcats maintained their advantage throughout the final quarter, and built their lead to as many as 15 points before closing things out. McDonald contributed four points, but she also put in a solid defensive effort.

“The key to my effort was to just come out energized, play some good defense and not let anyone get in the middle,” McDonald said.

Tori Close and Michelle Baba each led the Rebels with nine points apiece, while Kimberly Baba added eight, and Marshall pitched in seven. Paddock’s bucket was her lone score.

Mount Si is at Interlake on Friday, Feb. 6. Game time is 6:30 p.m.

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