Victories over Inglemoor and Eastlake have the Mount Si girls basketball team eyeing a strong finish to the regular season as they chase KingCo Crest leaders, Issaquah.
After suffering defeats to Crest-leading Issaquah and Crown-leading Woodinville, the Wildcats picked up a 54-44 victory over the Inglemoor Vikings on Jan. 11 and a 36-30 win over the Eastlake Wolves on Jan. 17.
In their win over the Vikings, senior Sela Heide led the scoring for the Wildcats with 12 points and nine rebounds. The 6-foot-8 forward was playing in her first game of the season after undergoing knee surgery in the summer.
Head coach Jason Marr said getting Heide back is big for the team’s confidence.
“Whenever you get a player like (Heide) in your lineup, other teams have to account for her,” Marr said. “It probably takes pressure off some of the other kids.”
Heide’s absence in the first half of the season forced some of the younger players on the team to step up. Sophomore forward Lauren Glazier has led the Wildcats in scoring, averaging 12.8 points per game. Marr said the 6-foot-4 forward will benefit from Heide’s return.
“As a sophomore, it’s pretty impressive to see what she’s been able to do,” Marr said. “Adding (Heide) allows (Glazier) to just play her game and to find her way as a sophomore, because she’s young and has a lot of talent. It’s hard to do it all on a single night in a league like KingCo.”
Freshman forward Makhayla Adams has also had a big season for the Wildcats, averaging over five rebounds per game. Adams had 11 rebounds during their win over Inglemoor, a career high.
After the snow caused their game against Bothell on Jan. 14 to be rescheduled for Jan. 25, the Wildcats turned their attention to the Eastlake Wolves, the defending state champions. Marr said it was challenging for the team to wait almost a week to play again after their big win over Inglemoor.
“The snow hit and obviously put a hold on everything,” Marr said. “It’s been a little frustrating with the weather, because you can’t control that. You go into the week preparing for one team and now you’re playing a different team.”
Working on only one day of practice, Mount Si went on the road to play the Wolves in a crucial league game on Jan. 17. The Wildcats were victorious 36-30, in a closely contested game. Glazier led the Wildcats with 12 points, Heide pulled in 10 rebounds and Adams had a career-high eight points.
Marr said the Wildcats have an opportunity to finish the season strong, but there are plenty of tough games ahead, including a home game against Issaquah on Feb. 1.
“I think KingCo in general, whether it’s Crest or Crown, is probably the toughest league in the state,” Marr said. “When you go up against pretty much anybody, it’s pretty competitive. Last week was a true test, going up against Issaquah, Woodinville, Inglemoor and getting Eastlake right after that. That’s a tough stretch of four games.”
The Wildcats are back in action at home against the Skyline Spartans on Jan. 24, before hitting the road to play the Bothell Cougars on Jan. 25.
With five league games remaining, Marr said he wants the team to focus on consistency, focus and playing together as a team.
“We’re sitting right behind Issaquah with a chance to have a strong end to our season,” Marr said. “We’re excited. From a program perspective, that’s what we ask for, to be competitive and to be right there. Hopefully we can be healthy and get everybody on the same page over the next few weeks.”
At press time, the Wildcats were in second place in the KingCo Crest with a 5-3 league record.