Summer classic offers preview of core Mount Si basketball squad

Members of Mount Si High School
Members of Mount Si High School's boys basketball contingent to the Kang Classic celebrated their upset of Kentwood in round three of weekend play in Kirkland. The nascent team came from 10 behind for the win on Sunday, June 27.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Mount Si’s boys basketball team has been busy adjusting to the system which new coach Steve Helm will be using this season.

Last weekend, fans got to see a glimpse of what lies ahead for the Wildcats, as they competed in the Kangs Klassic, a summer basketball tournament hosted by Lake Washington’s boys basketball program.

Facing opponents including Chief Sealth, Lake Washington and Eastside Catholic, the Wildcats got a chance to run plays in a potential preview of the coming winter season. Last Saturday, June 26, Mount Si played very high tempo, using solid defense and fast-paced offense to blow out the Crusaders 84-60 behind an over 30-point effort from senior-to-be Dallas Smith.

Mount Si came from as far as 10 point behind the following day to best Kentwood, 51-48.

"We ran the floor well and we were able to score,” Helm said. “It was a good confidence builder for us."

The transition to Helm from former coach Jeff D’Ambrosio has been smooth.

"It's gone really well, because I played with coach Helm (from) fifth through eighth grade," Smith said. "He was my select coach; a lot of us know him already — all of the seniors do.”

In addition to Smith, sophomores-to-be Anthony McLaughlin and Trent Riley also played considerable minutes in this contest. All of these players are expected to play key roles on the Wildcat varsity this winter, returning from a stellar season this past year which saw them make it deep into the SeaKing District tournament.

The upcoming season from Mount Si should show tough defense. Helm indicated this will be a point of emphasis for the team this summer.

"We're trying to teach, on the defensive end, just great weak-side defense, second, third rotations and good ball pressure,” Helm said. "We really have a lot to work on just defensively. Our rotations, they’re not there."

The style seen from the Wildcats in their win against Eastside Catholic was excellent, but Helm said fans should be ready for anything.

"I think it depends on who we play,” the coach said.

Smith says fans who come out to remaining summer action should expect the best.

"We've been really working hard and that they can come out and watch a good team play,” he said.

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