Complete selflessness has been a staple of the Mount Si Wildcats boys basketball program ever since head coach Jason Griffith took reins of the program three years ago.
The intense focus on team play was evident in the biggest game of the season to date for the Wildcats.
Mount Si, which finished with 13 assists, earned a hard-fought 53-46 win against the Curtis Vikings in the Class 4A state semifinals on March 1 at the Tacoma Dome. The Wildcats shot 53.8 percent from the field and were 9-for-18 from the three-point line.
“We have skilled guys who can shoot it. We don’t have a 240-pound guy in the middle but we have guys who can make plays for each other. At any given moment, someone can make a play. We have a lot of unselfish kids,” Griffith said with pride.
Tyler Patterson, who scored 12 points in the victory, said connecting on shots from beyond the arc has a huge effect on the outcome of games.
“Those were big momentum swingers,” Patterson said of his team’s nine three-pointers. “The good thing about us is that any guy can get hot at any moment. It is a hard thing for other teams to prepare for and it helps us big time.”
Mount Si star Jabe Mullins, who scored five points in the win, credited his teammates for coming through in the clutch with a berth in the state title matchup on the line.
“I didn’t shoot very good (1-for-8 from the field) but it doesn’t matter because if I don’t play good, everybody else will play good. That is what makes us good. Everyone can score,” Mullins said. “Tyler (Patterson) shot the lights out, Jonny (Barrett) played amazing and Brett (Williams) played great.”
Barrett finished with 12 points. Williams chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Freshman point guard Bennett O’Connor added eight points as well.
The Wildcats will face Gonzaga Prep in the Class 4A state title game at 9 p.m. on March 2 at the Tacoma Dome. Griffith isn’t surprised in the least bit that his gritty squad will lace up their sneakers in the state championship on Saturday night.
“We’ve been talking about it all year. Most people that don’t know much about the program, they are kind of all surprised and everything like that. The people in this locker room, the coaches and players understand the work we’ve put in to get to this point so it’s not surprising to us,” Griffith said.