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Sizably younger: MIHS girls basketball returns with bigger, younger team
In years past the Mercer Island girls basketball team has relied on speed more than size. The program was built around the team’s typically smaller players who had speed up and down the court. This season, head coach Jamie Prescott has to reconfigure to accommodate the program’s newest attribute: size.
“We’ve never had a bigger team — we just have to figure out how to use it because we’ve never had it,” said the coach.
This year the Islanders return with a younger group as well, after losing four seniors last winter. Led by Kris Brackmann, the team will focus on starting at the beginning.
“We’re overall player for player younger,” said Prescott. “We’re taller, so have lots of room in growth just in maturity. We graduated four seniors — they were pretty impactful seniors and three were starters, so we have a lot of young kids moving up who are new.”
Brackmann said with the younger team behind her, they’ve focused a lot on the basics and building the team.
“We’re working on our plays and defense, and the basics,” said the captain. “We have to work on our defensive and conditioning so we’re better at the end of the game than our opponent.”
In a traditionally well-stacked conference, the Islanders will face tough competition, which they are preparing for early on.
“I’m excited that we’re taking a trip down to Prairie,” said Prescott. “They are always really good, so I think the teams we’re most excited to play are those teams just because they are phenomenal and are a good benchmark for us to see how we compete. Juanita is going to be really good.”
While the team has set up an overall philosophy for the year, Brackmann said she hopes they can make another showing at state like they did several years ago. Last season the team made it to the regional bracket before ending the season.
“I think we can do well in our league, and I’d like to make another showing at state,” said Brackmann.
The team kicks things off with a non-conference game at Newport on Wednesday starting at 7:30 p.m. The girls then take a league trip to Mount Si this Friday evening, with the game starting at 6:30 p.m. The Islanders will take on Juanita on Friday, Jan. 6, at Juanita starting at 6:30 p.m.
Get a complete schedule on the KingCo website.