Mount Si Wildcats junior guard Carly Britton, right, tries to chase down Issaquah senior Luci Stewart, center, in a matchup between rivals on Jan. 25 in Issaquah. Issaquah defeated Mount Si 55-23. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography

Mount Si Wildcats junior guard Carly Britton, right, tries to chase down Issaquah senior Luci Stewart, center, in a matchup between rivals on Jan. 25 in Issaquah. Issaquah defeated Mount Si 55-23. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography

Eagles conquer Wildcats in 4A KingCo contest

Mount Si displays heart in loss on the road against Issaquah.

Mount Si Wildcats girls basketball coach Jason Marr couldn’t had been prouder of his team following a matchup on the road against the Issaquah Eagles.

The Wildcats, who were missing four starters due to injuries, lost to the Eagles 55-23 on Jan. 25 at Issaquah High School. The Wildcats kept the game close in the first half despite the lack of depth on its varsity roster. Midway through the second quarter, Mount Si senior guard Jenae Usselman, who scored a team-high 10 points in the loss, connected on a 3-pointer cutting Issaquah’s lead to 21-16. It was the closest the Wildcats would get to decreasing the Eagles’ lead for the remainder of the game. Issaquah outscored Mount Si 34-7 down the stretch en route to victory.

“We had four starters out (due to injuries). The girls battled as hard as they could for as long as they could. I’m proud of them,” Marr said. “There was a couple of shots that if they would had maybe went the other way, it could have been a different scenario. We played hard tonight and played good defensively. We just couldn’t get the offense going.”

Issaquah improved its overall record to 12-7 with the win while Mount Si dropped to 10-9 overall. Issaquah head coach Jackie Bykonen said her team’s adjustments in the second quarter made a huge difference.

“We tried to pressure them a little bit more in the full court. We just moved the ball better offensively and focused on reversing the basketball. We tried to attack the gaps in their zone (defense),” Bykonen said.

Issaquah senior Luci Stewart scored a game-high 20 points in the final regular season home game of her high school career.

“Luci is probably one of my favorite athletes that I have ever coached. Her attitude and her work ethic is just incredible. She is one of those athletes who just brings it all the time, no matter what kind of day she is having,” Bykonen said. “She always has the same energy and intensity whether it is a practice or a game. She is just a joy to coach. We’re going to miss her a lot.”

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