Mercer Island’s Griffin Emanuels fights through Sammamish defenders Max Donaldson (left) and Kenneth Rasmussen (23) Friday at Mercer Island High School. The Islanders beat the Totems 66-45. Joe Livarchik/staff photo.

Mercer Island opens season with win over Sammamish | Prep boys basketball

A ‘silent night’ from the Mercer Island student section may have temporarily subdued the Mercer Island boys basketball team in its season opener against the Sammamish Totems.

But once the energy came, the game quickly broke open.

The Islanders overcame a slow start with a 19-2 second quarter run and went on to beat the Totems 66-45 Friday night at Mercer Island High School.

The Mercer Island faithful that were in attendance were noticeably quiet at the beginning of Friday’s contest.

“They had this ‘silent night’ thing in the crowd where they were determined to wait until we scored seven points to actually say anything,” Mercer Island coach Gavin Cree explained afterward. “So it was a bit of a strange atmosphere at the beginning of the game. I think it got in the heads of our team a little bit and we were a little bit sluggish to start.”

Deadlocked 8-8 after the first quarter, the Islanders (1-0) opened the second period with an 11-0 run to begin pulling away. Mercer Island only allowed a field goal from Max Donaldson during the quarter to claim a 27-10 halftime advantage over the Totems (0-2, 0-1 in KingCo).

Senior Shain Scott, who finished with nine points for the Islanders, attributed Mercer Island’s second-quarter surge to better ball movement on the offensive end.

“We started off a little sloppy and then we really bounced back well in the second quarter,” Scott said. “We outscored them 19-2. It was just great to see us bounce back like that.”

Mercer Island continued to extend its advantage in the second half, leading by as many as 27 points. Parker Simpson led all scorers with 11 points. Griffin Emanuels scored eight and Joe Gormley and William Lee each finished with seven points. Carson Jones-Knapp led Sammamish with 10 points.

Next, Mercer Island will take on Bellevue at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Mercer Island High School.

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