Mercer Island dismantles Juanita | Boys prep basketball

When the first quarter ended Friday night between the Mercer Island and Juanita boys teams and the score was 23-6, it was as good as in the books for Mercer Island. Three quarters later, and the Islanders had it, 67-35.

For 32 minutes the Islanders pounded the Rebels, on defensive and offense, forcing a season-high 24 turnovers and playing their game on offense.

“Our defense was very intense all night,” said head coach Gavin Cree. “We need to be better about not fouling when the opposition is in the bonus, but our defense was enthusiastic and opportunistic all night.”

After a convincing start, the Islanders continued their domination with a 9-14 halftime score, followed by a 21-point third quarter while holding Juanita to just 13 points.

“I thought everyone contributed, but Brian Miller was dominant on the board,” said Cree. “He had 16 points and eight rebounds in about 13 minutes of play.”

Changes in personnel on the court in the fourth quarter slowed down the scoring a bit, with the Rebels hitting eight points to Mercer Island’s seven, but it wasn’t enough to change the outcome.

The Islanders’ second highest score of the night was Derek Newhof’s 14 points and Jeff Lindquist’s 11. From there Sam Cohn had five, Joe Rasmussen and Parker Scott each had four, while Evan Thompson scored three points, and Ben Emanuels, Sean Hughes and Nick Nordale had two points each. Juanita captain Nicola Stanjik had seven points for the Rebels team high.

This week the Islanders took on Lake Washington after Reporter deadline, and travel to Mount Si on Friday night for an 8 p.m. tip off.

“Lake Washington and Mt. Si are two teams in the upper echelon of our conference,” said Cree. “We’ve got to be road warriors this week. We need to battle through adversity and pull together. We need to continue to dominate the boards and defense — some really good offensive players in Matt Staudacher (Lake Washington) and Dallas Smith/Trent Riley (Mount Si). This week will test our toughness.”

Not only do the Islanders face strong opponents, but they will be without a few key players for the next several weeks. Both Kaj Sherman and Quinn Sterling are out for the Islanders at the moment. Sherman suffered a broken hand, while Sterling fractured his leg; both injures happened in December. Cree said he hopes to have both players back by the end of the month.

The Islanders are 10-2 so far this season.

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