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Sixth-grade girls basketball team takes MLK tourney

The Mercer Island girls sixth grade select team combined strong defense and a balanced offense to win the Snohomish Basketball Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament Championship. The team defeated Redmond, Everett and Inglemoor to get to the finals. In the finals match, the girls dominated a strong Liberty team that had defeated Issaquah in their respective semifinal game earlier in the day. The team now has an overall record of 17-5. They are presently tied for second place among the 20 teams of the sixth-grade Puget Sound Travel League with a record of 8-2. The losses were early season cliffhangers against Skyline and Issaquah. Coached by Brad Knowles and assistant coach Julie Robinson, team members are: Kianna Chang, Suri Johnson, Ellena Jones, Kristi Kelton, Sara Lindquist, Sevanna Locke, Arianna Moscatel, Makenna Pellerin, Natalie Ricklefs, Tre Saunders and Mary Wingerson.

Fourth-grade boys place second in MLK

A team of eight Mercer Island fourth-graders placed second in the Martin Luther King, Jr. AAU basketball tournament held in Seattle from Jan. 19 to 21.

The young Islanders got off to a slow start on Saturday in pool play, losing 54-13 to the very talented Seattle Rotary Style all-stars. But the team bounced back in the afternoon with a 49-14 victory over the Inner City Players from Oregon. On Sunday, the team suffered a heartbreaking 37-36 defeat at the hands of the pro-club Hornets on a three-pointer at the buzzer. But again the team bounced back in the afternoon to topple a scrappy Irish Gold team, 52-36.

The team’s first game on Monday was a must-win situation against the 3-1 Rull Dog Ballers. The Islanders’ full court press stifled the Ballers, and the team worked its way to a 45-20 victory and a berth in the championship.

The championship game on Monday night was a rematch with the undefeated Rotary Style all-stars, who had won their five previous games in the tournament by a cumulative score of 263-42.

Playing on the NBA-sized court at Salvation Army Community Center, the Islanders surprised the Style team with its full court press, jumping out to an early 8-3 lead. But the depth and speed of Style was ultimately too much for the Islanders. The Style all-stars rallied in the second quarter and pulled away in the second half for a 55-29 victory.

Islanders pictured in the above photo, from left to right, are: back row — Coach Dan Nordale, Andrew Pickles, Sam Nordale, Eric Kim, Sam Pugel, Coach Steve Stenberg; front row — Anthony Scalzo, Michael Petrie, Josh Stenberg and Emerson Schulz.

Fourth annual Student/Teacher Basketball Game

The annual MI Girl’s Basketball Select Teams versus Teachers Benefit Basketball Game will be at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 at Islander Middle School.

There will be a special halftime show and “celebrity refs.” A bake sale and concessions will also be available. Adults $5/students, teachers free.

Please support MI Girl’s Basketball. Players will be out in the community selling tickets or tickets can be purchased at the door. Please call Christa Lilly at 818-7622 for more information.

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