Mr. Clutch!

Islanders clinch KingCo title

  • Monday, November 24, 2008 8:11pm
  • Sports
Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Islander Matt Schut drives to the basket for two of his 17 points against Issaquah. His biggest shot came with 1.2 seconds remaining

Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter Islander Matt Schut drives to the basket for two of his 17 points against Issaquah. His biggest shot came with 1.2 seconds remaining

Islanders clinch KingCo title

By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter

The Mercer Island boys basketball team clinched the 3A KingCo for the first time in four years, Friday, with a 70-59 win against Skyline. But a running jump-shot by Islander Matt Schut against Issaquah with 1.2 seconds left, giving Mercer Island a 64-62 win, saved an unblemished regular-season record on Wednesday.

“We were just looking for an open guy, and that was money,” said Mercer Island coach Ed Pepple.

The game began with a surprise three-pointer by Islander forward Sam Rasmussen. Islander Leroy Lutu’s turnaround fade-away-jump shot gave Mercer Island an early 14-9 lead.

But the Mercer Island advantage would fade away when Issaquah tied the game at 22-22 during the second quarter with six minutes remaining before halftime and their first lead of the game, 27-26. The two teams traded leads seven times until a Lutu jump in the lane off an inbound pass finished a 9-0 run late in the third to give the Islanders a 49-43 lead.

The physical play on the floor along with a rowdy crowd led to some trash talking by Lutu, following a steal and assist to Drew Sexton, as the Islanders took their biggest lead of the game, 60-53, with 2:30 left in the game.

But that lead would evaporate as well. The Eagles tied the score with 12 seconds remaining on the clock.

“I knew it was going in,” said Schut, who finished with 17 points. “We played great as a team.”

Schut’s shot would spark a flood of Islander students onto the floor, but the referees would put 1.2 seconds back on the clock. Issaquah would be unable to get a basket as the floor was flooded with students once again.

“This game was all about runs and momentum, and we knew that at crunch time we would have to make ours,” said Lutu, who led the Islanders with 20 points. “I feel like we have a good chance to go undefeated, and that was one of our goals.”

The KingCo title makes school history as all three boys’ winter sports varsity teams, including wrestling and swimming, won the league championship this season.

With a win on Tuesday (after Reporter deadline) against Newport, the Islanders will attempt to complete the sweep of KingCo schools at a 7:30 p.m. contest, tomorrow night, at Sammamish High School.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Captain Newcomer looking to keep her team energized this season

MIHS junior is also a member of the Trivia Club and Marvel Club.

Courtesy photo
Left to right: Lenny Zilz, Eric Dorre, Chuck Robinson.
3 Mercer Island masters swimmers net nationally ranked times in meet

6 a.m. swim practices, four times a week. This is the normal… Continue reading

Clark is ready to lead the Islanders back onto the court

He is the team’s third-year starting varsity point guard.

Islander volleyball just misses state spot

Mercer Island’s volleyball squad went 1-2 in the 3A District 2 tournament… Continue reading

Hoopsters display their skills at tournament

After a two-year break due to COVID-19, the Mercer Island Boys &… Continue reading

Islander volleyball still vying for state spot

Mercer Island’s volleyball squad went 1-1 in the opening rounds of the… Continue reading

Mercer Island High School 2021-22 winter varsity sports schedules

BOYS BASKETBALL Nov. 29 NEWPORT, SHORECREST and JUANITA (jamboree), 7:10 p.m. Dec.… Continue reading

MIHS boys take ninth at state cross country meet

Mercer Island’s boys cross country squad placed ninth at the 3A state… Continue reading

Islander swimmer Whelan thrives in the sprint races

Staying pumped and positive makes a difference, she says.

MIHS girls swim and dive squad wins 3A KingCo title

Islanders take second at districts; state is next.

Islanders beat Newport on the gridiron

Eli Fahey threw five touchdown passes to five different receivers in Mercer… Continue reading