SNOQUALMIE – The Mount Si Wildcats boys’ basketball team continued its struggles last Tuesday night at home, losing a hard-fought contest to the Skyline Spartans.
Skyline center Matt Mead and guard Jayce Gutzler, both seniors, scored 21 points each to lead the Spartans to the 64-55 win.
“I was real pleased,” said Spartans coach Kermit Foltz. “One, the fact we got the win and two, is that I thought we showed some poise.”
Coming off a loss to Mercer Island, Mead said his team was ready to get back on the winning track.
“We knew it was going to be a real physical game, [a] real mental game, mental toughness, and we had to bang up against them both mentally and physically, so the best way to do that is get ourselves pumped up to go at them,” Mead said.
Skyline shot a torrid 60 percent from the floor, while the Wildcats shot only 30 percent.
Mead, in scoring his 21 points, went 8-for-10 from the floor and added a dunk late in the first half.
Mount Si senior Luke Landdeck continued his hot shooting of late, scoring 18 points, 15 of those in the first half, to lead the Wildcats. Sophomore guard Kyle Meuli scored what the Wildcats’ coach Garrick Phillips believed might have been a career-high 12 points off the bench to pace Mount Si in defeat.
Junior guard Erik Tierney, and senior post Jeremy Johnston, the other two Mount Si players who have been hot of late, cooled off as Tierney only scored 10 points, all in the second half, while Johnston was able to only muster two points against a very athletic Skyline squad.
To underscore what Mead and Gutzler mean to the Spartans success, Foltz commented: “It’s a great game when you have an inside presence that you can go to and score inside, and then have a point guard that can handle the basketball, distribute it, and still score from the perimeter.”
The Spartans built several large leads during the game, only to see the Wildcats rally back each time. Skyline, despite 18 turnovers and sloppy play at times, held their own and picked up the win.
On Friday, Mount Si traveled to Bellevue, and notched an important conference win against the Wolverines. Landdeck scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Wildcats, while Tierney and Johnston each added 17 to pace Mount Si. Senior Robbie Cooch scored 14 points, while junior forward Kevin Stangvik scored 14 to help Bellevue’s cause.
The two teams were tied at halftime 37-37, after the Wildcats blew an early lead. Mount Si picked it up in the second half and scored a 69-64 squeaker that will be helpful to them come the end of the season.
With Valley Division leaders Sammamish and Issaquah both struggling (each losing their game last weekto fall to 3-3 in conference), the Wildcats (at 2-4 in conference, one game back) may still be able to say a lot about who ends up winning this division, despite their sluggish start to the conference schedule.
The Wildcats play Sammamish Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Sammamish. Mount Si will be looking to avenge an early season home loss to the Totems, which underscored the early season struggles for the Wildcats.
There is still no confirmed date as of yet to be made-up snowed-out home game vs. Cedarcrest.