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New era for MI 3-on-3: Mercer Island basketball tourney draws 25 teams
The gymnasium walls at the Community Center at Mercer View were lined with parents, brothers, sisters and plenty of aspiring basketball stars Friday as the annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament played host to more than 100 student-athletes.
“This is almost as many as they had last year, so it is a pretty good turnout despite the short amount of time we had,” said Christa Lilly, one of the event’s organizers. “We were very organized and the kids are getting to have a lot of fun.”
This is the first year that the Mercer Island High School basketball booster clubs have organized the event.
On the court, fierce competition and love for the game pushed all competitors to play their best. The switch from the normal 5-on-5 to 3-on-3 was an easy transition.
“It is easier to play because there aren’t as many people and it is only half court,” said Miakalah Moore-Lee of the Silly Girlz team, which played against seventh graders to take second place.
The Force lived up to its name as Tessa Pratt, Quinn Glosniak, Peyton Wozeniak and Megan Walsh comWozeniak and Megan Walsh combined to take the championship in the sixth- and seventh-grade girls bracket.
All the brackets were comprised of two grades. Despite some age and physical disparity, some of the younger teams thrived in their brackets.
The Mamas Boys, a team comprised of fourth graders Josh Stenberg, Harrison Goonewardene, Andrew Pickles and Anthony S. took the title in the fourth- and fifth-grade division. The Tarheels finished second.
In the sixth- and seventh-grade division, the Swishbucklers — Avery Britton, Dakota Olsen, Ahmaad Rory and Terrell Tony — took the title as the Mavericks, a sixth-grade team, took second.
In the fourth- and fifth-grade girls bracket, the Island girls, consisting of Julia Blumenstein, Molly Bucklin, Megan Diamond and Katherine Seif dominated the competition, with the Defenders placing second.
Most of the teams were comprised of Mercer Island kids who were playing with local friends.
“We have a team that plays in a couple of leagues,” said Peter Welch of the Summertime boys. “It is a smaller court and we just go to 15.”
Some kids came from as far away an Neah Bay on the peninsula of Washington.
In all, 15 volunteers were used as court monitors or score keepers, most were current or former high school girls basketball players.
It’s fun to interact with the kids and help out the basketball community,” said court monitor Hannah Lilly. “I just hope that all the kids have fun and want to come back next year.”
All of the winners received first-place trophies and all participants received a t-shirt to commemorate the event.
Mercer Island 3-on-3 teams and participants
Chuckers — Leah Akins, Abby Olson, Nicole Kanellopoulus, Candace Rawsin
MI Ball Thieves — Jessica Blakeslee, Annie Mildeberger, Taylor Krause, Liza Watso
Lord of the Rims II — Nalari Ogawa, Kayla Tsang, Claire Mansfield, Anna Luce
MI Heat — Alex Brown, Jack Delay, David Sims
Hot Shots — Nick Delman, Max Boksem, Michael Sedlacek, Luke Boksem
Mamas Boys — Josh Stenberg, Harrison Goonewardene, Andrew Pickles, Anthony S.
The Best Team — Johnny van der Velden, Sam Nordale, Caden Conder, Jesse Fulp
Team Webster — Freddy Brown III, Trey Lowe, Jordan Potts, Mack Minnehan
MI Durants — Ben Chase, Griffin Kane, Jamie Shannon, Devon Hayes
Defenders — Stephanie Silke, Kathryn Vetter, Jamie Mounger, Margaret Seaton
Island Girls — Julia Blumenstein, Molly Bucklin, Megan Diamond, Katherine Seif
Bus Drivers — Brandon Lawler, David Emanuels, Nick Taylor, William Mansfield
Tarheels — Andy Nelson, AJ Peacock, Austin Fothergill
E-Lemon-Ators — Suri Johnson, Kianna Chang, Ellena James, Makenna Pellerin
Silly Girlz — Katia Brown, Randi Dixon, Deja Dunn, Miakalah Moore-Lee
Mavericks — Cray Bryan, Ryan Koning, Josh Martin, Nick Panelli
Summertime Boys — Jacob Stenberg, Christopher Lawler, Nate Schuler, Peter Welch
Dominators — Teddy van der Velden, Reid Fuhr, Matt Seifert, Steven Huber
Lord of the Rims — Keoni Ogawa, Liem Tu, Marcus Wurster, Ben Angel
The Ballahs — Jordan Sloan, Oliver Galanti, Daniel Davydov, Nathan Cohen
The Force — Tessa Pratt, Quinn Glosniak, Peyton Wozeniak, Megan Walsh
The M’s — Marlo Cafarelli, Maggie Paulich, Morgan Paige
Ballen Elbow Misters — Matt Delman, Kyle Huber, Nick Nordale, Nikhil Misra
Swishbucklers — Avery Britton, Dakota Olsen, Ahmaad Rory, Terrell Tony
Island Heat — Charlie Devine, Connor Nielson, Josh Peck, Kyle Baska