Mercer Island’s Anna Luce a powerful force in the post

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography Mercer Island senior post player Anna Luce knocks down a short jumper against the Redmond Mustangs on Jan. 20. Luce, who has been on the Islanders varsity team since her freshman season, will play college basketball at Dartmouth College.

Post players are typically the focal point of high school basketball teams across the nation.

A talented post player who controls the paint, typically controls the game. The Mercer Island basketball team is blessed with one of the best post players in Washington in the starting lineup.

Islanders’ senior Anna Luce, who will play college basketball for Dartmouth College, is undoubtedly the Islanders marquee player on the 2016-17 roster. Mercer Island head coach Gillian d’Hondt is a huge fan of Luce’s game.

“Anna does so much for us on both ends of the floor. Offensively, she is such a huge threat on the inside and outside. She is very difficult to guard. I’m proud of how hard she works and how well she is doing for us,” d’Hondt said. “We have a great bond. I’m harder on her than anybody else and she knows it.”

Luce is the kind of player who never rests on her accomplishments. She is always striving to get better in every aspect of basketball.

“Now is the time to keep improving. There is no stopping. Every possession is just as important as before,” Luce said.

Even though Luce takes the majority of the Islanders shots in most games, she relishes the opportunity to share the ball with her teammates.

“I have great teammates around me. If I get doubled, I can kick it right out and they can hit it (the shot),” Luce said.

This scenario was evident against the Redmond Mustangs on Jan 20. In the second quarter, the Redmond defense converged on Luce whenever she caught the ball in the paint. Mercer Island guard Jessie Stenberg was the beneficiary, knocking down four 3-pointers.

The Islanders, who are currently undefeated in KingCo 3A play, earned victories against the Bellevue Wolverines on Dec. 12 (67-44) and Jan. 13 (58-46). The Wolverines won the Class 3A state title during the 2015-16 season. The wins against Bellevue gave the Islanders an abundance of confidence.

“One of our biggest goals this year is to beat Bellevue. We’ve only beat them one other time other than these two times in my senior year,” Luce said. “We were definitely prepared for them and did a lot of scouting. It was definitely some of the best wins that I have ever had in basketball.”

With the playoffs right around the corner, the Islanders are determined to reach the Tacoma Dome for the Class 3A state tournament.

“Our goal is to win a game at state (tournament) and get as far as we can. We’ve never won a game at state before but we have made it the past three years,” Luce said.

Recently the Mercer Island Reporter had an opportunity to ask Luce a few questions about her life away from the basketball court.

Mercer Island Reporter: What is your favorite movie of all time?

Anna Luce: “The Blindside.” It is such a happy movie. There is so much hope in it.

MIR: What is your favorite restaurant in Mercer Island?

AL: I’m a big Qdoba (Mexican eatery) fan. I go there for lunch a lot with my friends.

MIR: What is your biggest pet peeve?

AL: Snoring. It is so annoying.

MIR: How many text messages do you send per day?

AL: I love to text and SnapChat. I send a lot of them.

MIR: Who was your favorite sports team growing up?

AL: I have been a big University of Washington Huskies women’s basketball fan. I have gone to a lot of their games since I was little.

MIR: What is your dream vacation spot?

AL: It would have to be Greece for sure. It is super warm there. The culture is really deep and their food is great.

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