Superb defense propels Islanders to win against Mustangs

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography Mercer Island sophomore Rainer McDonald scored a team-high 11 points against Redmond on Jan. 20.

Stingy perimeter defense propelled the Mercer Island boys basketball team to a victory against the Redmond Mustangs.

Mercer Island, who allowed a meager seven points in the first half of play, grinded out a 46-31 win against Redmond on Jan. 20 at Mercer Island High School. The Islanders improved their overall record to 10-6 (9-2 league) with the victory. Redmond dropped to 7-9 (6-5 league).

Mercer Island head coach Gavin Cree said his team’s defensive game plan centered on covering Redmond star player Aleks Bober. Bober, who scored a team-high 11 points for the Mustangs in the loss, didn’t record his first bucket until the third quarter.

“No. 4 (Bober) can really shoot the ball. I thought we defended him pretty well for the most part. He hit some tough shots but Shain Scott did a phenomenal job on him on the perimeter. He (Scott) is a very determined player. That goes a long way. He is always locked into the game plan. I thought Joe Gormley played some good defense on the perimeter as well,” Cree said.

Mercer island sophomore Rainer McDonald scored a team-high 11 points in the win. Redmond head coach Todd Rubin said both teams played great games defensively.

“They obviously made more plays than us on offense. We struggled a little bit,” Rubin said.

The Islanders are building momentum as the regular season winds down in the next two weeks. Cree said the Islanders are currently tied for first place in the KingCo 3A division.

“It is easy to be motivated when you’re right there. Every game is a tough game for us. You can’t take anybody lightly. It is exciting to be doing what we are doing right now at this point of the season,” Cree said.

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