The Mercer Island boys basketball team headed south on Christmas Day to play in the VisitMesa.com Challenge in Mesa, Ariz.
The team played it’s first game on Wednesday, Dec. 26 againt Mountain View, a team out of Mesa. The Islanders won 51-34.
Mercer Island was up 19-5 at the end of the first quarter and held their opponent to just nine points in the second quarter and four in the third. Mountain View scored 16 points in the final minutes of the game, but it couldn’t match the Islanders advantage on the scoreboard.
Junior Kaleb Warner had 19 points, while senior Nick Nordale had 12 points during the win and Joe Rasmussen added 10. Espen Platou posted four and both David Emanuels and Jake Shaddle had three points.
The Islanders will play in games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday before returning home from the tournament.
Before leaving town, Mercer Island beat Interlake 74-37 in a KingCo matchup on Friday, Dec. 21.
The Islanders were up 44-9 at halftime and added 15 points in each of the last two quarters to take the win.
Nordale had 19 points in the game, Rasmussen posted 15 and Will Taylor had 10 points. Teddy van der Velden and Warner each had seven points, with Jack Counihan and Max Tilden adding five points a piece. Emanuels and Daniel Sims each posted two points in the win.