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Girls bounce back from loss to Bellevue
The Mercer Island High School girls basketball team is one of the youngest in 3A KingCo with eight players being freshmen or sophomores. The Islanders had a chance to break through against one of the best teams in the state, Bellevue, on Wednesday but lost 60-51.
The loss to Bellevue was not without hope for the future as freshman Jae Shin led the Islanders with a career-high 18 points.
“I only had five points during the first half,” said Shin. “I knew that someone had to step up and take the lead.”
The Islanders’ leading scorer this season is sophomore Hannah Lilly, who is also in the top five in the league. But Lilly, dealing with double teams and being the focus of the Bellevue defense, scored just six points.
“We were just not clicking against Bellevue,” said Lilly.
The Islanders traveled to Sammamish on Friday for a game against another young team. The Totems featured nine freshmen, which gave Mercer Island coach Jamie Prescott a chance to get everyone on her team some playing time.
The result was that nearly every player scored at least one basket, and none of the players scored in double figures during a 57-19 blowout.
“We have been focusing on our defense in practice, but you really couldn’t see how much they have improved tonight,” said Prescott. “This game gave us a chance to work on some things, but it is difficult to do that, sometimes.”
From horn-to-horn, the game was not even close. The Islander starters saw about a quarter and a half of action and never got into a groove. Despite the woes on offense, Mercer Island still managed to hold Sammamish to just four points from the end of the first quarter until the 4:10 mark of the fourth period.
Sammamish scored its largest total during the final quarter with eight points. Islanders Hannah Lilly and Cloe Snethen both led the scoring for Mercer Island, with nine points each.
“This gave us a lot of opportunities to share the ball and get some of the other girls playing time,” said Lilly.
Mercer Island will get a stiff challenge tonight at 7:30 p.m. as they travel to Issaquah to take on another of the top schools in the state.
Friday will give Mercer Island a chance for its first-ever season sweep of Mount Si at 7:30 p.m. The Islanders defeated the Wildcats in early December, 61-60, at Mount Si High School. Lilly led the team in scoring with 23 points, including the game-winning basket.