The Mount Si Wildcats girls’ basketball team survived a big scare in their opener, as they overcame sluggish play and a huge effort from a Bothell sophomore, and narrowly beat the Cougars on Saturday night at Bothell High School in a nonleague contest.
Sophomore Symone Shaw, in her first career highschool varsity game, scored 14 and helped the Wildcats to a 53-48 win.
“A victory is a victory, ugly or not. We love winning so … it’s the first game of the season,” said Mount Si coach Dirk Hansen. “We don’t expect to be polished. I will say this: our girls gutted it out in the fourth quarter.”
Mount Si blew out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, then saw Mandy Saintz take over. The Cougar sophomore center almost single-handedly led her team back into contention as the first half dragged on. Saintz scored 19 of her game high 32 points in the first half. Her first half performance was capped off by a buzzer-beater that sent the Wildcats and Bothell to the halftime break tied at 29-29. Even with all that Saintz did, Hansen was still pleased with Mount Si’s defensive efforts against the Cougar player.
“I thought Tara [Eddings] did a very good job of defending her most of the night, but the biggest problem was that she was getting easy passes in from the wings, and so we got to do a better job of making those entry passes into post players a little bit more difficult for opponents,” the coach said, but added, “I’m optimistic about defending down low this year.”
Bothell took the lead in the third quarter, behind continued strong play from Saintz. The Wildcats fought back, and regained the lead by scoring two baskets in the last minute of the quarter. Shaw and senior Nicole Remish each then hit key three-point baskets in the fourth quarter, and those helped to provide the cushion necessary to close out the victory. Shaw’s three, with 7:27 left in regulation, came after her teammates and coaches on the Mount Si bench emphatically told her to shoot.
“Yeah, that was big for me,” Shaw said. “Well, they were yelling at me for not passing it to the post, and then they just told me to shoot it, so I was open.”
Freshman Madison Yakaboski scored 11 to pace Mount Si. The first points of the game were scored on a basket by Yakaboski, her first-ever high school basket.
The Wildcat girls next game is Friday at Lake Washington against the Kangaroos. Lake Washington won last season’s meeting 52-39 at Mount Si. The Wildcats will be looking for revenge in this nonleague contest which will tip at 7:30 p.m. at Lake Washington High in Kirkland.