The Mount Si Wildcats boys basketball team is peaking at the right time.
The Wildcats captured their 11th win in a row courtesy of a 74-49 win against the Issaquah Eagles on Jan. 25 in Issaquah. Mount Si improved its overall record to 17-2 with the win while Issaquah dropped to 8-11 overall. Mount Si Wildcats head coach Jason Griffith, who is in his third season leading the Wildcats boys basketball program, coached at Issaquah for several seasons before landing the head coaching position at Mount Si in May of 2016.
“I had a lot of great memories here (Issaquah High School gymnasium). I have a lot of great friends in the community. For me, it was just another game to be honest. I think our team was a little more pumped to play Issaquah than I was,” Griffith said.
The Wildcats played proficiently in all aspects against the Eagles. Wildcats’ junior guard Jabe Mullins had a game-high 18 points. Mount Si senior Jonny Barrett and junior Tyler Patterson each scored 16 points apiece as well.
“We’re getting better and that is the most important thing at this time of the season. Our kids understand that we have an opportunity in front of us but they also understand what it is going to take,” Griffith said. “It is not going to be handed to us. We are going to go out every game and take every team’s best shot. I think we are prepared for that.”
Issaquah senior Asa Taylor scored a team-high 14 points in the loss in the final home game of his high school career. Issaquah head coach Brad Valentine credited the Wildcats for not only their scoring prowess but their stingy team defense.
“Mullins, Patterson, Barrett and (Bennett) O’Connor, those kids can score but they do such a good job defensively,” Valentine said of the Wildcats. “That is their best attribute. They are one of the better defensive teams in the state. They do a good job of just pushing you off your spots.”
Despite the loss, Valentine is confident his team will get back on track sooner rather than later.
“Hopefully we will be able to play those guys (Mount Si) again in the KingCo tournament. That is our goal right now. We want to see them in the KingCo final,” Valentine said.