Islanders unveil clutch performance down the stretch against Kangaroos

The Mercer Island Islanders and Lake Washington Kangaroos boys basketball teams were tied at 46-46 with just 4:33 left in regulation in a matchup between KingCo 3A squads.

Mercer Island rose to the occasion in the final four minutes of play, outscoring Lake Washington 17-5 en route to a 63-51 victory on senior night on Jan. 30 at Mercer Island High School. Mercer Island improved its overall record to 11-10 with the win. Lake Washington dropped to 7-12. Lake Washington head coach Ryan Staudacher knew Mercer Island would be a formidable opponent for his squad.

“Hats off to Mercer Island. It is always a tough place to play. They made plays down the stretch in the second half and we didn’t. Sometimes that is how it goes,” Staudacher said.

Mercer Island senior Giovanni Cervantes-Rocha, who scored 10 points in his final regular season home game, was glad the Islanders capitalized on their opportunities in the final four minutes of play.

“We believed in ourselves. That was the main thing. We got each other’s back. It was a really big win,” Cervantes-Rocha said.

Mercer Island head coach Gavin Cree was impressed with his team’s performance in the fourth quarter against the Kangaroos.

“We wanted to do it for our seniors tonight. Adam Parker who was just coming off an injury, it was his first game back in a few weeks. He gave us a major lift in the fourth quarter. It was a really big performance by him,” Cree said. “We made the plays in the fourth quarter when we needed to and we got some stops.”

Parker hit two three-pointers in the final 5:21 of the contest. Parker unleashed a pinpoint pass to Cervantes-Rocha for an easy bucket with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter, extending Mercer Island’s lead to 53-46. Mercer Island senior Griffin Emanuels scored a team-high 14 points in the win. Lake Washington senior post player Karl Drammeh scored a game-high 21 points in the loss. Drammeh utilized a wide array of moves in the post to score the majority of his points.

“No. 12 (Drammeh) is a great player. I got to give it to him. He is good. It is always fun to play against competition that is that good,” Cervantes-Rocha said of Drammeh.

Staudacher said Drammeh plays the game the right way.

“Karl has been great for us all year and is a great teammate. He is a great player and he is an even better kid. He is so fun to coach and he competes every single night,” Staudacher said.

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