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‘Cat boys shake, rattle and roll
Even an earthquake couldn’t shake the Mount Si’s boys basketball team from making a strong showing at the Surf N’Slam Tournament in San Diego.
On the road over holiday break, the Wildcats took 4th in the tournament with a Wednesday, Dec. 30, win over a Canadian team. Tanner Riley scored 20 to lead Mount Si to a 54-45 victory over White Rock Christian, from the Vancouver, B.C., suburb. In awards announced during the tournament banquet that day at the Marriott-Mission Valley Hotel in San Diego, Surf N’Slam organizers named Riley to the all-tournament team.
The Wildcats’ first round matchup on Monday, Dec. 28, looked to be a bit of a mismatch, but it turned out closer than expected, as Mount Si rallied to force overtime with Jackson High School from Massillon, Ohio, before falling to the Bears, 70-66. The Wildcats outscored Jackson 20-12 in the fourth quarter to force the extra frame.
Zander Nelson led Mount Si with 19, while Tanner Riley added 15 and Dallas Smith pitched in 14 to pace the Wildcats. Jackson’s Mark Henniger led all scorers with 34 points; he is one of two Bears who will be playing Division I college ball next year; the other, Josh Egner, added 12. Both Henniger (Akron) and Egner (Kent State) will be playing for Mid-American Conference colleges.
“The first game was pretty good. Even though we ended up losing, we had a chance to win it,” Riley said.
Justin Downer, in his first action since being declared eligible by the WIAA recently, scored eight points for Mount Si.
On Tuesday, Dec. 29, the Wildcats used a solid effort from the Portland-bound star to take care of the Lake Stevens Vikings, 73-65. Riley scored 25 points to lead Mount Si, who built an early lead and maintained control throughout the contest. Anthony McLaughlin added 11 points to pace the Wildcats.
Mount Si was busy both on and off the floor. On Sunday, Dec. 27, the boys traveled to Disneyland, riding with a team from California.
“We spent a good nine hours at Disneyland, so (there was) a lot of joking around, a lot of having fun,” Riley said.
The ‘Cats also got caught in an earthquake which hit the San Diego area on Dec. 30, prior to their game with White Rock Christian. The quake measured 5.8 on the Richter scale and was centered 100 miles east of the city, just across the Mexico border.
“Yeah, we didn’t notice,” Trent Riley said. But a lot of other people did; many in San Diego reported feeling it, and, according to news reports, some reported ground shaking as far away as Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Back home, the ‘Cats traveled to Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle on Saturday, Jan. 2. Reserves got most of the work, as this contest was over fairly quickly. Mount Si dominated in the 75-47 win, and Dillon Shain scored 17.