Mount Si hoops season opens with home jamborees, plus college action from yesterday…..

Mount Si High School’s boys basketball team held their annual jamboree yesterday at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie. The Wildcats varsity and junior varsity squads played teams from Liberty and Overlake, with the Patriots varsity and JV sweeping the team titles, going 2-0 each. Mount Si’s varsity went 0-2, falling both to Liberty and Overlake, while the Wildcat JV went 1-1 with a win over the Owls, from Redmond, but an overtime loss to the Patriots that saw the shot of the day for Mount Si – a buzzer-beating three pointer to force overtime by Harvey Payne which he was fouled on; he missed that resulting free throw to send the contest into overtime, but Liberty ended up winning it in the extra session.

Even though his team didn’t win either of their 10-minute mini-games, Wildcat coach Kyle Clearman was still pleased with how things went. “It was all good. Defensively, we struggled a bit, but jamborees, like I told my guys, is mostly just me putting them into situations and seeing how they react so we can go to work on that on Monday before we play (Tuesday)”, the coach said. Mount Si hosts the Woodinville Falcons on Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. to open the Kingco 4A schedule.

Owls coach Justin Prohn, a friend and fellow Mount Si Class of 1997 graduate of your editor, and also a friend of Clearman’s, was also pleased with how things went for his team. Overlake, a 1A school, opens their season on Tuesday as well, and he expects a good season for his squad. “Hopefully, a pretty well-disciplined team that’s going to get better throughout the year,” he said.

Mount Si girls split at jamboree
The Wildcats hosted their jamboree last night, also at MSHS, and left with a split, beating Cedar Park Christian but falling to Liberty. Mount Si won the mini-game over CPC 17-5 with balanced scoring, led by four points each from Annie Hiebert and Camryn Buck, while Emma and Sam Smith both had six points apiece for the Wildcats leading the way in their 18-17 mini-game loss to Liberty. The Wildcats meet Woodinville Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

College scoreboard
NCAA D-II football playoffs-NW Missouri State 54, Humboldt State 7: The Humboldt season came to an end in convincing fashion, as the hosts from NW Missouri rolled to the win at home in Maryville, MO. Seniors Taylor Mitchell, of North Bend, and Jarrett Adams, of Snoqualmie, both saw action in their final college football games, with Mitchell recording six tackles, four of which were solos. Both athletes are Mount Si High School grads. HSU finishes the season 10-2.

NCAA D-III football playoffs-Linfield wins: Linfield took care of business at home in McMinnville, OR, yesterday, with a 38-22 win over Cortland State of New York. The Wildcats move on to the quarterfinals next weekend, meeting Texas’s Mary Hardin-Baylor. Lineman Stephen Nnabue, a 2013 MSHS grad from Snoqualmie, is on Linfield’s roster, but he did not play yesterday.

Basketball-Carroll-MT men 83, Dickinson State 75: Valleyite Zach Taylor led the way for the Saints in their road win over the North Dakota team last night in Dickinson, ND. Taylor, a 2013 Cedarcrest HS grad from Duvall and Carroll-MT junior, scored a game-high 28 points on a solid 7-13 from the floor which included three three-pointers. He was a perfect 11-11 from the foul line and also collected five boards, three steals and three rebounds for the Saints, who moved to 4-2 overall with the win.

Basketball-Puget Sound women 76, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 67: UPS took care of business last night, posting the road win over the California school in southern California. Freshman Elizabeth Prewitt, a 2015 Mount Si High School grad from North Bend, scored two points for the Loggers in limited action.

Basketball-Puget Sound women 84, Pomona-Pitzer 67 (Fri.): The Loggers rolled to the win over the southern California team on the road late Friday, with Prewitt collecting two points, two rebounds and a steal in limited action for UPS.

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SVSJ preview: Mount Si wrestling aims for success in 2015-16

EDITOR’S NOTE: We wrap up our series of winter sports previews for Valley high schools this morning with a look at Mount Si High School wrestling. 

Mount Si High School’s wrestling program looks to have another solid season.

Back as coach this season is Tony Schlotfeldt. Schlotfeldt’s guidance helped several Mount Si athletes make it to the state Mat Classic tournament last season, with one, the now-graduated Mark Mulligan, winning it all at the 170-pound weight class. The veteran coach looks to build on that success. “I think just a continuation of what we’ve been working on over the past six or seven years, being aggressive, wrestling tough for three rounds, doing the best they can with the skills that they have,” he said.

Several wrestlers will be worth watching this season, led by the Marenco brothers. Junior Mason, at 160 lbs., made it to state last season and will aim for another trip this season, while his younger brother, Spencer, is a freshman this year and is the top newcomer to the team. Spencer has a tremendous resume as well in youth wrestling, having won a state title in the club circuit last year, so there’s going to be some high expectations for him coming into the year. Spencer’s recipe for success? “By working every day, not taking one day off,” he said.

Also back this season is senior Andrew Harris, who will compete at 220 lbs. and will aim for a second-straight trip to the Dome; he went last season. Sophomore Connor Holt (145) and junior Jack Hamerly (152) both are back this fall; these two made regionals last season and will look to break through and reach state this season.

A newcomer to watch is sophomore Kinsey Steskal. Girls’ wrestling is a growing sport around local high schools, and Mount Si has had a couple of young ladies give the sport a shot over the past several years. Steskal joins that small group, and will aim for success on the girls’ circuit this season. She is expected to compete in the lightweight classes, around 115-120 lbs. “She’s a hard worker. She was in gymnastics before so she’s got a lot of body control and I think that’s going to help her, in just kind of general movements in wrestling,” Schlotfeldt said. “A very coachable kid.”

The teams to beat in the league this season are expected to be Issaquah and Inglemoor, although Skyline could also be a team to watch. Mount Si will be competing in a state regional this season with teams from the Narrows League in south Puget Sound. Their first scheduled Saturday tournament is December 5 at Timberline High School in Lacey and is likely to feature teams from that region. “That’ll get us a taste for what’s in our region,” Schlotfeldt said.

The program also will be competing in tournaments in Everett, Centralia and Grandview over east of the mountains, and over the holiday break they’ll be competing in the Best of the West event in Pasco, a usual favorite of Schlotfeldt’s over the years as it gives the Wildcats a chance to compete against top wrestlers from eastern Washington, which tends to have some solid athletes year in and year out.

Mount Si opens the season Tuesday with a jamboree at Liberty High School in Renton, and their season opens with that meet at Timberline High School December 10. The Wildcats have home meets all scheduled in January. Consult for more information.

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On this Saturday……

Good Saturday morning. Football, men’s hoops, and a little wrestling for you this morning from the colleges. We’ll have one last high school sports preview as well coming up, as we look at MSHS wrestling.

Washington 45, Washington State 10 (Apple Cup, Seattle): The UW became bowl eligible by finishing at 6-6 this fall with the Apple Cup blowout win at home yesterday. Fall City’s Cameron Van Winkle was busy; the junior Huskies kicker was 6-6 on extra points and 1-2 on field goal attempts, hitting one from 24 yards but missing from 33 yards out. Van Winkle is a 2013 Mount Si High School grad.

Oregon 52, Oregon State 42 (Civil War, Eugene, OR): OSU’s season came to an end yesterday at 2-10, but they left it all out on the field in the second half as they roared back from a 31-7 halftime deficit to make things interesting through much of the final stretches of the game. Beaver C Josh Mitchell, a senior from North Bend and 2012 Mount Si HS grad, started his final college game at center for OSU, while his Beaver teammate and brother, redshirt freshman Nick, a 2014 MSHS’er, did not see action at QB after having seen it for the previous four games.

Adams State 89, Carroll-MT men 74: At the Dickinson State tournament in North Dakota, the Saints fell to the Colorado team as junior Zach Taylor, from Duvall and a 2013 Cedarcrest HS grad, was held to just nine points on 3-8 from the floor, including one three-pointer. He also had three rebounds, four assists and a steal for Carroll in 33 minutes of work.

CHS grad makes move in college wrestling, and it’s a step up: 2013 Cedarcrest High School grad Carlos Toledano, from Duvall, has found a new home in college wrestling, and it’s a big move for him.

Toledano, who had spent his first two college seasons with Doane College, an NAIA school in Nebraska, transferred in the offseason to Minot State University in North Dakota, which is an NCAA Division II program. And he’s already seen some action with his new team.

Toledano, a junior this fall, finished in fifth place in the 165-pound weight class at the Finn Grinaker Open in Moorhead, MN, November 21 in the most recent competition Minot participated in. He opened the season on November 14 at the North Dakota State meet in Fargo, ND, but did not place despite recording one win in that tournament, also at 165.

Toledano and his Minot teammates will be in action next weekend at a tournament in Great Falls, MT. He is not the only CHS grad to wrestle collegiately this season; freshman Connor Lemons, who graduated from Cedarcrest back in June, is on the roster this season at North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur D’Alene, ID. Lemons has yet to see action with that squad.

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SVSJ preview: Successful Mount Si High School gymnastics program has new leader at helm, but goals remain the same – to make it to state

EDITOR’S NOTE: Good Friday morning, everyone. It is “Black Friday,” as the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear. Before you head out to purchase your holiday gifts, whether that will be at the North Bend outlet mall, Issaquah, Bellevue or wherever, or make your way into Seattle for today’s Apple Cup football game, and watch Fall City’s Cameron Van Winkle in action for the University of Washington as they take on Washington State University, we have a look today at a new era beginning for Mount Si High School’s gymnastics program, as it welcomes in a new coach. 

A new face is running the show this season for Mount Si High School’s gymnastics program, but she is no stranger to the team or to local youth gymnastics.

Kelly Loranger, a veteran local gymnastics instructor who works at the Mount Si Gymnastics facility in North Bend and was a volunteer assistant last season for the Wildcats, takes over the head coaching duties this season, replacing successful former coach Jessica Easthope. Loranger is excited about what lies ahead. “Lots of good returners, I’m excited about that, and a lot of good freshmen coming in as well,” she said.

Loranger, who has been involved in the sport a long time – first as an athlete helping Issaquah High School win the state 3A title in 2002, and now for the past 12 years as a local youth coach – is very familiar with the team, and that is a big plus, according to senior returner Maggie Kenow. “The majority of the girls on the team have already worked with Kelly before,” Kenow said. “I’ve been working with her since I was in elementary school and so have most of the other girls.” Kenow and fellow seniors Amanda Antoch and Abby Weber will anchor the returning group this year, a group which also has junior Samantha Holmes back this season as well.

A couple of key freshmen to watch will be Sarah Christopherson and Shelby Johnson. Johnson is the younger sister of Hailey Johnson, who was a key piece of the success Mount Si has had the past four years; Hailey graduated back in June.

Leadership will be a big theme for this senior class, and Kenow is ready to provide it. “A lot of the time it’s scary to come in here not knowing how to do things and seeing these girls do crazy flips and it’s intimidating, so part of our job is to just make sure everyone’s comfortable and knows they’re welcome and knows that they’re not out of the club,” she said. Weber concurred. “I think that it’s awesome for people who have never done gymnastics before to come out and try it. It’s been a big part of my life, so I’m glad that other people are able to experience it and because of that, I think that it’s really important to try and include everybody in everything,” she said.

It sounds as if the teams to beat this season will be Woodinville and Newport, but both Kenow and Weber believe that the Knights ultimately hold the key to how far Mount Si can go this season. “Last year we almost beat Newport at districts and there will be two teams going to state this year so if we do beat them (at districts this year) then we will be going to state,” Kenow said. “I think our main team to beat this year is Newport,” Weber added.

While the athletes may be focused on teams to beat, the coaches are more concerned about the future alignment of the league, according to Loranger. It appears that there is some back-channel discussion going on amongst league athletic administrators about a possible realignment of Kingco for next season that could happen regardless of whether Mount Si remains a 4A school or drops back down to 3A for the next classification cycle. This realignment, which we have learned may involve all sports except football, would likely entail a full merge of both the 3A and 4A leagues and a split of the combined group by division as opposed to classification. Such a split could see Mount Si paired with Issaquah, Bellevue and Mercer Island schools once again as it was in the past.

If this materializes, and it’s a big if at this point as it will largely depend on where schools end up in the new classification scenario in the coming weeks and months, something which we will follow for you here at the SVSJ, Loranger is looking forward to it. “I think it’ll be nice,” she said. “They’ll get to compete against girls that they actually know on other teams.”

Kenow looks for fans to watch her compete in the floor exercise event. “I have spent most of my time competing on floor,” she said. “I would say that would be my best event.” The floor has been the bread and butter of Mount Si in recent seasons, and has been by far the most exciting event for fans to watch at the meets. As for Weber, vault will be the event people need to follow her on. “I think vault right now is my strongest event,” Weber said. “We have a couple of people doing ‘tsuks’ so that will be another strong event.” The ‘tsuk’, for those unaware, is a skill on the vault routine which carries a higher degree of difficulty, therefore start scoring values on those routines will be higher. Easthope, as we have noted here in past years, made high start values on individual routines a point of emphasis for athletes in her coaching style. Loranger will be no different.

“I think start values is a huge thing,” she said, adding bars will be an area she will be focusing on with this in mind. “I think the hardest event is the bars and we’re definitely playing with new skills and trying to get everyone capable of getting that 10.0 start value,” Loranger said.

Weber believes the team can go far this season. “I think that we can make it to state,” she said. “I think we can beat Newport and get the second place in districts and be able to make it to state as a team.”

The season opens up next Thursday with a neutral-site meet against Bothell at Sammamish High School in Bellevue. Mount Si’s home meets are all in January, starting on the 7th with, based on how the athletes feel, the potential big meet of the season against Newport. Senior Night will be on January 28 against Issaquah. Meets begin at 7:00pm.

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College women’s hoops scores on this Turkey Day morning…..

From the colleges this morning, we have a look at women’s hoops, with a pair of games yesterday in southern California featuring local athletes, who both had similar stat lines in their contests.

The Master’s College 86, California Lutheran 56: The NAIA school’s team rolled to the home win yesterday afternoon in Santa Clarita, CA, over the NCAA D-III Regals. Junior Katy Lindor, from Snoqualmie and a 2013 Mount Si HS grad, had three points and four rebounds in 18 minutes of work for CLU in the contest.

LaVerne 66, Puget Sound 63: The Loggers fell in a close one on the road in LaVerne, CA, to the host LaVerne side. Freshman Elizabeth Prewitt, from North Bend and a 2015 Mount Si alum, played limited minutes off the bench for UPS and, like Lindor in the Cal Lutheran game above, scored three points and added four rebounds to the Logger efforts.

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