Boys lose to Newport

Open playoffs tomorrow at BCC

By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter

The Mercer Island boys basketball team needed a Newport win against Issaquah last week in order to force a showdown for the league’s regular-season title against Eagles. But instead of Issaquah suffering their first loss of the year, Mercer Island lost to the Knights, 55-43, Feb. 6 at Newport High School, ending any title hopes for an Islander championship.

The Islanders started strong, but a tough defensive battle during the second quarter left the game tied at 23-23 during halftime. Newport entered the fourth quarter with a slim two-point lead but dominated play during the final period.

Mercer Island couldn’t find any momentum during the final eight minutes of play and were outscored by 10 points, 19-9.

The Islanders were led by Leroy Lutu and Matt Schut, who combined for (28) over half of the team’s point total.

Mercer Island bounced back Thursday with a 53-36 victory over Sammamish. Mercer Island’s defense was smothering during the first quarter as the Totems failed to score a single basket. But the Islanders weren’t much better during the first eight minutes as the score was 4-0 heading into the second period, where Mercer Island picked up the pace.

The Islanders led by just seven points heading into the fourth period but then exploded with 26 points. The final period’s point total for Mercer Island was one point less than the team’s point total during the first three quarters of play.

The Islanders will start the 3A KingCo playoffs tomorrow at Bellevue Community College with a 3 p.m. tip-off. With a win tomorrow, Mercer Island will play Friday at 6:30 p.m. during the semifinals.

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