Another round of Friday previews and picks on the Valley high school hardwood, as the Wildcats and Red Wolves hit the road headed north……

Good Friday morning. Mount Si High School gymnastics results on their Senior Night soon, but we have for you this morning another round of Valley high school hardwood previews and picks. Tonight, it’s up north on the road for both the Wildcats and Cedarcrest High School’s boys and girls’ basketball teams, as Mount Si’s teams look to keep their playoff hopes alive against Ingelmoor, and Cedarcrest’s squads looks to solidify theirs against a strong pair of teams from King’s in Seattle. Girls first, then boys, with different start times as noted tonight at the two sites.

Cedarcrest Red Wolves @ King’s Knights, King’s Schools, Seattle, 5:00 – The Red Wolves and Knights last met on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a total of 11 days ago, and CHS surprised King’s by blowing them out at home by almost 30 points. Tonight, the Knights look to return the favor, and if they’re able to do that, they’re probably going to wrap up the top 1A Cascade seed into the postseason. Currently, the Knights lead all 1A schools with a 7-2 Cascade record and they are 9-8 overall after routing Granite Falls Tuesday. As for CHS, they are 8-2 in conference, 13-5 overall and are in second place in the league and among 2A schools.

The balanced Red Wolve offense will be led by juniors Haley Hill and Elaine Townley, both of whom average around eight-nine points a game. Hill had 10 points Tuesday in the Cedarcrest win over South Whidbey and 13 against King’s in that win 11 days ago. Townley will be looking to keep from getting dinged up again, as she’s been nursing some bumps and bruises as of late.

King’s has a loaded senior group led by guards Casey Kispert and Abbi Echelbarger, and those girls will be recognized tonight as part of their school’s Senior Night. We’d look perhaps for the Knights to get some good energy from that and keep things interesting.

With this in mind, we believe it or not like the Knights in a close one. King’s 55, Cedarcrest 53

Mount Si Wildcats @ Inglemoor Vikings, Inglemoor HS, Kenmore, 6:30 – Mount Si’s girls are still hunting for a postseason berth, but their loss Wednesday to Issaquah left those hopes pretty much hanging on a thread. If the Wildcats fall tonight, those hopes, while they’ll still be faint, will be pretty much unrealistic.

The Wildcats are 1-10 in league and 4-13 overall, and fell to the Vikings last time out at home earlier this month. Believe it or not, though, Inglemoor, despite posting that 65-48 win over Mount Si January 6, is struggling, too, at just 3-8 in league and 6-10 overall. Senior post Amanda Luckett, who averages 16 points and 12 rebounds a game, scored 21 points and added 14 boards to lead the Vikings in their win over scarlet and gray back on the sixth, and will likely be the player to stop in this one for Mount Si if they want a chance to succeed. But considering what Luckett did at MSHS earlier this month, it’s going to be a tall order.

Junior Lauren Wilbourne and freshman Sela Helde lead the Wildcats, who have literally fallen off the rails following their successful trip to San Diego over the holidays. Mount Si has lost seven straight since returning from southern California, turning what had been a season with promise coming out of the tournament into another tough one, just like last year. The Wildcats need to find a way back into the win column, and this may be their last best chance to do it. Sadly, though, if Luckett’s on her “A” game, we don’t expect it to be in the cards. Inglemoor 65, Mount Si 45

BOYS (*Approximate start times; games will start 15-20 minutes after conclusion of preceding girls’ games)
Cedarcrest Red Wolves @ King’s Knights, King’s Schools, Seattle, 6:45* – Cedarcrest goes into tonight’s game needing this win to stay with Archbishop Murphy as those two teams battle for the top spots from the conference into the Northwest District 2A playoffs. But it will not be easy. King’s, a 1A school, is leading the league at 9-0 on the season and is 14-3 overall. The Knights beat CHS back on January 3 57-43 at Cedarcrest.

Seniors Jake Kirschenmann (14 points per game) and Cameron Hammontree (11) continue to lead CHS offensively; Kirschenmann had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Wolves in their win Tuesday over Granite Falls that moved them to 7-3 in league and 12-6 overall. He was held, however, to just eight points, in the loss earlier this month to the Knights.

King’s is led by their star senior post Corey Kispert, and will be looking to make things happen tonight on their Senior Night. This group, looking at their roster, is a tall group that has some size, so that should also be a challenge for the Red Wolves. But off his big game Tuesday, CHS senior Pascal Nagata could be a wild card in this one. Nagata pounded out 19 points in the win over Granite, and if he’s able to follow that up for an encore, the Red Wolves could keep this one close. But we like the Knights, and think it will be a good night for one Mr. Kispert. King’s 70, Cedarcrest 60

Mount Si Wildcats @ Inglemoor Vikings, Inglemoor HS, Kenmore, 8:15* – The Wildcats’ 48-41 win over the Vikings back on January 6 propelled Mount Si into the postseason discussion, and scarlet and gray now sits in a three-way tie with Newport and Eastlake for the sixth and final playoff berth, all at 3-8 in league with the Wildcats at 5-12 overall. So wins will be a big help for the Wildcats, and they look to get one tonight against a Viking team that is tied for fourth with Woodinville at 6-5 in league, 7-9 overall.

Seniors Ryan Hamilton and Jaxon Peay lead Inglemoor, each scoring around 11 points a game. Hamilton had 13 the last time the Vikings played Mount Si earlier this month, and he comes off a 10-point effort Tuesday in a win over Eastlake. Peay scored 21 to lead the Vikings on Tuesday, but was held to just seven in the loss to the Wildcats on the sixth of this month. Mount Si’s defense will once again hope to contain that top Inglemoor player.

Freshman Jabe Mullins continues to lead Mount Si, averaging 15 points a game, but senior Gavin Gorrell will again be our focus this week. We mentioned last week his improved play as of late; this week, it’s about him looking to regain that form after struggling in the past two games. He was held to just six points in each of those games, losses last Friday to Bothell and earlier this week, on Tuesday, to Issaquah. Gorrell’s averaging around 11 a night off his improved play, so it’s hoped he can get back on track. If he can, then Mount Si will be in good shape.

This is a big game tonight for the Wildcats, as wins will be very useful in the final stretch of the regular season in this dogfight for the final playoff spot. This might be a good time for Mount Si to demonstrate a little playoff intensity because if that’s not there in this one, they may not have a chance to show it at all. Mount Si 61, Inglemoor 60

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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