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Girls drop two to start second half
The Mercer Island girls have had problems with the start to the second half of games. That problem now includes the bigger picture or the regular season as the Islanders returned from winter break by losing to both Skyline and Newport.
“We need to play with more desire and heart,” said Janelle Chow. “We have to push ourselves.”
The Islanders got pushed around by Spartans during the first half of their game at Skyline High School, falling behind by 17 points. But the Islanders clawed their way back into the game, scoring 21 during the final quarter, and taking a two-point lead with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
“It is always a big loss when you are up by two with that much time left,” said Mercer Island senior Amanda Nield. “It was a huge tempo swing.”
Skyline earned the game-tying basket and won the game in overtime by outscoring the Islanders 14-9.
“Sometimes we start playing not to lose instead of playing to win,” said Chow.
Mercer Island not only had to deal with the loss from Wednesday’s game but the fatigue of the overtime contest when they faced Newport at home on Friday. The fatigue of just one day off seemed to hurt Mercer Island.
The Knights took a two point lead at the end of the first quarter on a long three-pointer but the first quarter battle was highlighted by six lead changes.
An inbound pass from Nield to Holland Fleming tied the game during the opening minute of the second quarter. But Mercer Island was never able to take control of the momentum or the lead.
The Islanders outscored Newport, 12-11, during the second quarter but entered halftime down by a score of 25-24.
The second half was all Newport, as the Knights doubled up Mercer Island during the third period, 16-8. A steal by Chow, who ran the length of the court for the lay-in, resulted in the first two points of the second half for Mercer Island after 3:26 seconds had elapsed during the third period.
“We have all the skills. We just need a different mentality,” said Chow.
The Knights road the momentum of the third period into the fourth quarter, eventually winning the game 62-49.
One bright spot for Mercer Island came at the free-throw line. The game was so physical that both teams combined for 33 charity shots. The Islanders finished the game 16-for-19 from the line.
The schedule will not give the Islanders a reprieve as they face the 6-1 Bellevue Wolverines at home tonight. Mercer Island will finish out the week by traveling to Sammamish High School for a game at 7:30 p.m., Friday, against the Totems.