The theme for this season of Mount Si boys’ basketball has been gradual improvement throughout the campaign, and going into last Tuesday’s game with Newport, the Wildcats got their first real chance to assess how things are doing. A win would have left them at 3-3 in the conference standings going into the holidays, which likely would be very useful down the stretch as they competed for postseason berths. However, there was one player standing in their way: Richard Woodworth.
Knights’ junior Woodworth scored 13 of his game-high 15 in the second quarter, and Newport used his spark to get their offense rolling to a 61-43 win over Mount Si.
“When [Woodworth] gets on a roll, he can shoot the ball and he kind of gave us a big lift when we needed it at that time,” said Newport coach Dave Olzendam, as his team played its final game before heading to Phoenix this week to play in the Cactus Jam, a high-school holiday tournament the Wildcat girls played in a few years ago.
The game started out slow for both teams, more so for Mount Si as the offense struggled to click. The Wildcats got off the ground and stayed close through the end of the first quarter, which they trailed by a modest 14-8 tally. Then Woodworth took over to start the second. One three-pointer; another one; then a two; then another three. Sandwiched in between was a basket by Knight senior Case Cooney, and all of that was part of a 13-2 run to open the frame and break things open. Newport was up 36-17 at the half and it seemed Mount Si was in trouble.
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