Wilson's Matz, defense too much for Mercer Island | Prep girls basketball

Mercer Island
Mercer Island's Jess Blakeslee cuts through the Wilson defense during its 3A quarterfinal matchup Thursday, March 6 at the Tacoma Dome. The Islanders lost to the Rams, 58-33.
— image credit: Joseph Livarchik/Mercer Island Reporter

Just when the shots finally started to fall for Mercer Island, Josie Matz stepped up to hit some shots of her own.

With the freshman from Tacoma's Wilson High School leading her team to a 13-0 run to pull away in the third quarter, the Mercer Island girls basketball team lost its 3A quarterfinal matchup to the Rams, 58-33 Thursday, March 6 at the Tacoma Dome.

It was a defensive battle in the first quarter with both teams struggling from the field. Despite its shooting struggles, the Islanders managed to keep up with the Rams, down 9-7 after one. But Mercer Island's shooting woes continued into the second, as Wilson's lead grew to twelve while the Rams' defense held the Islanders scoreless for most of the second quarter. A basket by Renae Tessem made it 19-9 with under two minutes to go in the half, and a 3-pointer from Jess Blakeslee left the Islanders trailing 22-12 at halftime.

The Islanders opened the third quarter drawing fouls and getting to the line, with Julia Blumenstein knocking down four free throws and Blakeslee sinking another two to cut the deficit to six. A 3-pointer from Blakeslee capped a 9-2 run, bringing the score to 24-21. But Wilson responded with 10 points coming from Matz, as the Rams closed out the quarter with 13 unanswered points. Mercer Island wouldn't get any closer, as Wilson pulled away for the win. Matz had a game-high 25 points, while Blakeslee led the Islanders in scoring with 11 points and Blumenstein pitched in 8. As a team, Mercer Island shot 12.7% from the field, while Wilson hit 32.3% of its shots.

Mercer Island will take on the University Titans in the consolation round at 2 p.m. Friday, March 7 at the Tacoma Dome. The winner will advance to the fourth-place game.


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