Mercer Island survives Totems’ fourth quarter rally

The Mercer Island girls basketball team needed a basket.

With a little under a minute to go in the fourth quarter, the Islanders led the Sammamish Totems by just two points (37-35) and hadn’t recorded a field goal in the fourth period. Sammamish had already outscored Mercer Island 11-1 in the first seven minutes of the fourth stanza.

With the shot clock winding down, Mercer Island senior guard Claire Mansfield knocked down a three-pointer as the shot clock expired, extending Mercer Island’s lead to 40-35 against Sammamish with 42 seconds left in regulation.

It was the final bucket either team would score for the remainder of the game.

Mercer Island’s defense held Sammamish scoreless for the final 42 seconds preserving a 40-35 victory on Jan. 10 at Mercer Island High School. The Islanders improved their overall record to 3-5 with the win. Sammamish dropped to 3-9 overall.

Mercer Island girls basketball head coach Gillian d’Hondt wasn’t surprised Mansfield knocked down a crucial shot in crunch time.

“Claire is a poised player,” d’Hondt said. “She is just coming back from an injury and she really hadn’t played all season. For her to knock down a couple of shots today was huge. I’m just really proud of her for playing the whole game and fighting through. She brings that basketball IQ and poise that we need.”

The Islanders snapped a two-game losing streak with the win against the Totems.

“We definitely needed it,” d’Hondt said of the victory. “We are just going to look to the second half of the season and just continue to build and get better every day.”

Mercer Island’s full-court pressure defense flustered Sammamish in the first three quarters of action. The Islanders surrendered a meager 24 points in the first three quarters of play.

“We’re not big so we have to play feisty and we have to play as fast as we can. That is what we rely on for sure,” d’Hondt said.

Mercer Island sophomore Grace Shaddle had a team-high 11 points in the win. Islanders’ freshman guard Annebelle Gersch added 10 points as well.

More in Sports

Gillian d’Hondt celebrates after watching her team win the Class 3A state basketball title in March of 2017 at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
State-champion coach resigns from position

Gillian d’Hondt departs after three seasons of leading the Islanders girls hoops program.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls water polo team earned fifth place at the state tournament on May 26 at the Curtis Aquatic Center in University Place. Photo courtesy of Debby Fry Wilson
Islanders girls water polo team earns fifth place at the state tournament

Mercer Island will return 10 varsity players to the roster in 2019.

WIAA will use committees to seed prep football playoffs

Many coached weren’t satisfied with the traditional system that used district seeds and geography.

Sparkle Squad. Katie Metzger/Staff photo
Mercer Island’s Sparkle Squad is here to cheer

The unified cheer group is made up of 13 mentors and nine students withintellectual disabilities.

Mercer Island Islanders junior boys lacrosse player Stew Vassau, who plays midfielder, was named to the 2018 Washington State High School All-American team.
                                Photo courtesy of Maryellen Johnson
Vassau named to 2018 Washington State All-American team

Islanders junior earns a coveted honor.

Mercer Island Islanders junior boys lacrosse player Glen Mahony, who plays the attack position, was named to the 2018 Washington State High School All-American team.
                                Photo courtesy of Maryellen Johnson
Mahony named to 2018 Washington State All-American team

Islanders junior earns a coveted honor.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                Mercer Island Islanders senior track athlete Kayla Lee captured first place in the 400 with a time of 56.16 at the Class 3A District II championships on May 18 at the Southwest Athletic Complex in Seattle.
Lee wins district title in 400

Kayla Lee finishes with a time of 56.16.

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                Mercer Island player Grace Fujinaga, who scored three goals in the state title game, carried the ball upfield while being chased by Bainbridge Island player Maggie Sweeney (left).
Mercer Island nearly defeats Bainbridge Island in lacrosse state title game

Bainbridge wins girls lacrosse state championship by the slimmest of margins.

Most Read