Another round of RPI news, plus a note from indoor college track and field….

Time now to talk playoffs. The Northwest District late last night released their latest round of Ratings Percentage Index rankings used to determine district 2A high school basketball playoff seedings, and we have news on where Cedarcrest High School’s girls’ and boys’ basketball teams stand.

We start with the girls, and a pair of losses this past week for the Red Wolves ladies have seen them drop some more, from fifth into seventh in this week’s RPI rankings. Their number is .444 which is well ahead of eighth-place Sedro-Woolley but with things trending downward at the moment, the Red Wolves really need to get a win under their belt to stem this downward move in the rankings. CHS in the initial run of this two weeks ago started out in fourth, but has seen the ranking decline in the two successive runs as the team has found the going a little more challenging into the meat of the Wesco 2A/3A schedule.

Cedarcrest, if this holds, could meet any of Blaine, Mountlake Terrace or Bellingham in the first round at home.

On the boys’ side, Cedarcrest remains eighth, no change from last weekend’s run of the computer. Their current RPI number is .350, well ahead of ninth-place Bellingham. An eighth seed, if it holds, would earn the Red Wolves a home playoff game against either the Red Raiders or possibly Sedro-Woolley or Blaine, both of whom are also contending for that ninth seed at the moment.

The Red Wolves are playing Lynnwood this Tuesday (girls at home with the Royals) and Wednesday (boys @ Lynnwood). The two teams then play the Hawks (girls on Thursday @ Mountlake and boys on Friday at home in Duvall). So more big games on deck as Cedarcrest looks to right the ship and assert home playoff games in the district playoffs.

Also this morning:

Track and Field: Valley athlete competes in weekend indoor college meet
An athlete from the lower Valley took on a strong regional field of competitors this past Saturday at the Jacoby Invitational indoor track and field meet in Nampa, ID.

Ryan Abdalla, from Duvall and competing for Northwest Nazarene University, located in Nampa, finished 21st in the men’s mile run at the Boise State University-hosted meet at the Jackson’s Indoor Track and Field complex. Abdalla clocked four minutes, 49.48 seconds. He is a graduate of Cedar Park Christian School in Bothell.

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Volleyball tournaments wrap up today, plus note from the ice and our girls’ Athletes of the Week for 1-23

Good Monday morning. Hockey and Athletes of the Week on deck but first a look at where things stand on the weekend volleyball front.

Playoffs take place today in two regional tournaments featuring local girls’ club teams with Valley athletes.

We’ll start locally in Renton at the Northwest Juniors’ MLK weekend event, and one of the Bellevue organization’s teams with a local player is in the hunt for a title today.

The Northwest 16’s Grey, with Mount Si’s Lexi Niehaus, went 3-0 yesterday in day two of the three-day event and is playing today for the 16’s age group title at the tournament. Among the teams they beat were their counterparts from Northwest 16’s White. Grey took it in three sets. As for the White squad, that team, with Cedarcrest’s Ava Mundy, will be competing in the “Bronze” division and end up likely with a mid-pack finish in the age group. Things start later this morning and should wrap up this afternoon.

Meanwhile, at the Northwest 12’s tournament up in Mill Creek, Ridge Valley went winless in four matches and finished in a tie for 13th. This was the season opener for the Snoqualmie team, as their athletes are just starting out with competitive volleyball, on the trail toward being on Mount Si High School’s team for many of them in a few years time. A lot of season left and it’s all about learning and gaining confidence so while the first impression is certainly not the best, these girls will learn from their mistakes and get better with every practice and every match, just as Wildcat coach Bonnie Foote likes to say.

Hartner: Both teams from Bellevue-based Sudden Impact with Mount Si athletes in the field at the Eugene, OR, tournament, went winless yesterday, but the SI 15’s Typhoon and 17’s Storm will be competing in “Gold” division playoffs today, likely meaning high placing finishes for both teams. Wildcats Bailey Showalter (15’s), Bre Fitzgerald and Megan Underbrink (17’s) are representing the Valley on these two teams looking to finish well today.

Also, KJ’s 15’s, the Kent-based team with Wildcats Jade Petrzelka and Kira Holmberg, went 3-0 yesterday and are in the “Silver” division playoffs today in the 16 Open age group. This likely also means a high-placing finish, so good luck to them. Bellevue-based Northwest Juniors’ 17’s and 18’s, with Mount Si’s Emily Dann and Dana Dolan (17’s), ex-Wildcat Annaliese Jensen and Cedarcrest’s Hannah Winston (18’s), will both be in “Bronze” playoffs in the 18 Open age group today after mixed results yesterday so mid-pack finishes are expected for both teams.

Like with the local tournament, this event wraps up later today. We’ll have rundowns for you tomorrow about what happened down there today then we’ll discuss it more on Wednesday in our weekly segment.

Other news:

Hockey: Totems fall
A battle between I-5 rivals in the Western States Hockey League proved to be a defensive nail-biter, but the Seattle Totems were on the short end of it, falling 1-0 last night to the division-leading Bellingham Blazers up in Whatcom County. Snoqualmie’s Cam Gross played but had no stats for Seattle in the contest. Gross, a 2017 MSHS alum, and his teammates now have this coming weekend off, then they’ll head down to Medford, OR, for a pair with the Southern Oregon Spartans February 1 and 2.

Now to our Athletes of the Week.

MOUNT SI – The Wildcats, despite missing top gymnast – and previous AotW – Sidney Aspinall, out with an ankle injury, held off Inglemoor and Issaquah at home this past Thursday, and leading the way was sophomore Mya Morrow. Morrow scored a 9.25 to win the balance beam event and that headlined a strong third-place finish in the all-around, where she scored 35.25. Morrow and Mount Si this Thursday are at Newport High School in another four-way Kingco meet, hosted by the Knights.

CEDARCREST – Back to the mat, and we have nothing of note from this past weekend involving the Red Wolve girls, but a pair of their ladies did well at the King of the Mountain event January 5 in Darrington. Jessica Wonder went 3-1 and Abby Varaday went 3-0, so they’re being recognized again just like they were a few weeks ago when we first found out they were part of the inaugural girls’ wrestling squad at CHS. These two are among five girls that have hit the mat this season for the Red Wolves, and their season will continue this week.

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From the ice

On the ice last night, it was a good night for Snoqualmie’s Cam Gross.

The 2017 Mount Si High School grad pounded home a goal and two assists for his Seattle Totems as the junior men’s team easily handled local rival West Sound 9-4 in a Western States Hockey League clash up in Mountlake Terrace. The win closed out a three-game in three-night home stretch for Seattle, which had a loss Friday to Bellingham sandwiched by two wins over West Sound, including last night’s.

Gross also played in the other two games but had no stats in either of them. Seattle is now 19-10-1-2 with 61 points and still in second place in the league’s Northwest Division. They’ll finish up their busy weekend tonight up in Bellingham against the Blazers looking to avenge that loss Friday.

Also from the ice:

What an effort for Valleyite Roche: You’ve got to hand it to Gross’s fellow 2017 MSHS alum Owen Roche. He has had it tough at times this season for Texas Christian University’s men’s hockey team, and that was very much the case on Friday night. He faced 84, yes 84, shots from opposing Texas El-Paso. He stopped 72 of them, but his team ended up falling in the game 12-0 to the Miners. And that effort was off a 72-shot, 63-save effort Thursday night in a 9-1 TCU loss. So in all, he faced over 150 shots on goal and stopped 141 of them in the weekend’s work. Busy times indeed for the Snoqualmie product, who is 2-6 on the season and has a .897 save percentage having stopped 472 shots total on the season. TCU has one more weekend of play in February before their season ends.

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Girl power on this Sunday, from the volleyball floor, the hardwood and the pool……

Good Sunday morning.

We start this morning with our first update for you on the weekend club volleyball action as nearly a dozen local girls’ high school players and their teams are squaring off against regional foes this weekend in Martin Luther King Jr. weekend tournaments.

The bigger of the two events is down in Eugene, OR, and it was a good day for most of the teams that have locals in attendance at the Matt Hartner Invitational. Three of the five squads there, all with Mount Si High School players, went 2-1 in opening day action.

Two of those teams represent Bellevue-based Sudden Impact. Their 15’s Typhoon team, with Wildcat varsity freshman Bailey Showalter, and their 17’s Storm unit, featuring juniors Breana Fitzgerald and Megan Underbrink, took their wins against teams from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. The other 2-1 squad was from Bellevue-based Northwest Juniors; their 17’s team, with MSHS juniors Dana Dolan and Emily Dann, bagged their wins against teams from Kelso and Mount Vernon.

The other two teams, Kent-based KJ 15’s, with Mount Si’s Kira Holmberg and Jade Petrzelka, and Northwest’s 18’s, with Cedarcrest’s Hannah Winston and ex-MSHS player Annaliese “A.J.” Jensen, both also got a win each down there yesterday, so they’re also in good shape headed into today’s play. Play will continue in this event through tomorrow, with it not being likely any of these teams will be in contention for tournament titles this weekend based on how they fared yesterday.

Northwest Juniors tournament: Two of Northwest’s 16’s teams with locals in this NWJ-hosted event yesterday fared well. The Grey team, with Mount Si’s Lexi Niehaus, went 2-0 with wins over local rival Kraken and a team from Canada, while the White squad, with Red Wolve Ava Mundy, split a pair of matches with the win coming against an Oregon team. Likewise, play in this event continues through tomorrow. Also of note is that NWJ is hosting a one-day tournament today up in Mill Creek for U-12 teams; Ridge Valley, from Snoqualmie, is among the participants in that event.

Valleyite Prewitt falls just short of double-double in UPS women’s win: It was a big game last night for University of Puget Sound senior women’s hoopster Elizabeth Prewitt. She had 25 points and nine rebounds – one off making it a double-double – and that strong effort from the Snoqualmie product, a 2015 MSHS grad, lifted the Loggers to a 75-67 win over Whitman in Walla Walla that gave UPS a sweep of their two-game eastern Washington road swing. Puget Sound opened the trip Friday with a win over Whitworth in Spokane.

Prewitt was a strong 9-13 from the floor, and also added an assist and steal to the cause as Puget Sound moved to 13-3 on the season overall, 6-2 in league, just a game back of first-place Whitman and George Fox in the Northwest Conference (NCAA Division III) standings. UPS is back in action on Tuesday night meeting Pacific Lutheran.

Van Ess leads Skagit ladies to I-5 rivalry win: Sophomore Mieke Van Ess’s 19 points lifted Skagit Valley’s women to a 64-53 triumph at home last night over I-5 rival Whatcom, from Bellingham.

Van Ess, from Duvall and a 2017 Cedarcrest HS grad, went a strong 11-14 from the foul line and also collected six boards to help Skagit move above .500 on the season at 9-8 overall, 3-1 in NWAACC North Division play. The Cardinals are next in action on Wednesday.

Swimming: Mount Si alum hits the water
It’s been a busy past couple of days for Pacific-OR freshman women’s swimmer Julia Crumb, as the 2018 MSHS alum hit the water in two different meets.

It started well on Friday with one of her Boxer relay units – scoring a win in their race – and second-place showings in three other races she swam at a dual meet in Salem, OR, with Willamette University. The Pacific 200-yard freestyle relay unit which Crumb was part of won that race, clocking 1:53.14. She finished second in two individual races – the 1650-yard freestyle (19:50.44) and the 200-yard butterfly (2:33.53) – and was part of a second relay team that also finished second, in the 200-yard medley (2:02.98). Willamette won the meet 105-80.

It did not go so well yesterday, however, in front of family and friends down in Tacoma as the Boxers met Pacific Lutheran. The Lutes won the meet handily 159-38, and the best showing Crumb had was a third-place effort in the 100-yard butterfly (1:07.66). She finished fourth in another individual race – the 100-yard breaststroke (1:19.20) – and was part of a pair of relay teams that also finished fourth, the 400-yard medley (4:31.96) and the 400-yard freestyle (4:07.44).

Crumb, from Snoqualmie, and her Pacific women’s swim teammates are next at George Fox this coming weekend.

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College hardwood action

On the college hardwood last night, the University of Puget Sound’s women’s basketball team got a nice contribution from a Valley player as they won a back-and-forth battle on the road with Whitworth of Spokane.

A strong start for the Loggers was responded to by a strong third-quarter burst from the Pirates, in which they outscored the visitors 25-11 in that third frame. UPS fought back though in the final frame, outscoring Whitworth 21-12 in that final 10 minute stretch to take the Northwest Conference (NCAA Division III) game 59-54 over in the Lilac City last night.

Senior Elizabeth Prewitt, from Snoqualmie and a 2015 Mount Si HS grad, scored 10 points and added four rebounds for UPS, who is at Whitman today in Walla Walla. The Loggers are now 12-3 overall and 5-2 in conference play.

Skagit Valley ladies make furious comeback but fall just short: It was looking like a long night on Wednesday over in Port Angeles for the Skagit Valley College women’s basketball team, as they trailed by almost 20 points going into the final quarter. But they mounted a huge comeback in that final frame to make things real close, but despite a number of chances to get it done, they could not make it all the way back and fell short, losing 64-63 to the host PCC side on the Olympic Peninsula.

Sophomore Mieke Van Ess scored 11 points for Skagit; the 2017 Cedarcrest HS grad from Duvall also had nine rebounds and five assists, one rebound short of a double-double.

The Cardinals are 2-1 in NWAACC play and 8-8 overall. They host Whatcom today in Mount Vernon.

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