Team survives scare from Interlake
By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter
The Mercer Island girls basketball team clinched a playoff spot on Wednesday despite giving up 30 points to a sophomore, playing an early game and having their Friday game against Skyline canceled.
“It was a good step of growth for them to be able to finish this game and get a win,” said Mercer Island coach Jamie Prescott. “We never let them get a lead, and that was important.”
But the game was close from start to finish, thanks to Interlake sophomore Sarah Anderegg. Mercer Island seemed to have few answers for the forward as she piled up 16 points by halftime.
Despite the output, Mercer Island was able to contain Anderegg’s teammates and maintain an eight-point lead going into halftime, which they had accrued during the first quarter.
Islander sophomore Jae Shin put in 10 points for Mercer Island during the first half. But Shin would finish with 12 points.
The third quarter saw Mercer Island switch from a man-to-man defense to zone. The result was just four points by Anderegg. But the Islanders would not take advantage on the scoreboard.
Islander Holland Fleming kept the Islander lead from slipping as she collected three of her game-high 10 rebounds during the third period and scored four crucial points.
But the seven-point advantage that Mercer Island enjoyed began to evaporate. The gymnasium began to get louder and louder as fans began to arrive for the boys game, and the energy seemed to power the Saints’ offense. A steal and fast break bucket by Anderegg tied the game at 50-50 with 2:30 left. But Mercer Island sophomore Hannah Lilly brought her team back with a long three-pointer. Two freethrows from Lilly with the crowd cheering gave Mercer Island a three-point lead with 13 seconds left and proved to be the game’s final points.
“It is always nerve-racking in those situations, but I could feel the support, and it was a good thing,” said Lilly.
The Islanders’ game against Skyline, which could determine the No. 4 seed into the KingCo tournament, will be made up tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Skyline High School.
Mercer Island will finish the regular season at 7:30 p.m. at Sammamish High School tomorrow night, giving Mercer Island three games in three days. Tie-breakers will take place on Saturday night if needed.