Mount Si’s boys basketball team came into last night’s game against Sammamish coming off a rough effort offensively in a loss to Juanita Tuesday. Initially last night, the Wildcat offense started off once again struggling to find its rhythm, but thanks to one of their top seniors, Mount Si did get its shooting touch back and rallied to make things interesting in the second half. But the hill proved to be too big to climb in the end, and the Wildcats fell once again.
Ryan Atkinson had maybe his biggest night as a high school player, scoring a game-high 26 points, but Mount Si’s offense was limited to just two first-quarter points and they ended up playing catch-up the rest of the way, going down 71-58 to the Totems, who showed why they may be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch in this high school boys’ hoops season. George Valle led the way for the Totems with 17 points.
As noted previously, the Wildcat offense did not start out well to open the game, and Sammamish took full advantage of that, going up 14-2 after one quarter of play. The Totems continued to maintain their strong advantage, playing very crisp with very few mistakes throughout the remainder of the half, and they went into the locker room up 20, 38-18, at halftime, and it looked as if it would be a blowout on this Friday night. But when the Wildcats came out, they had other ideas.
Mount Si slowly crept back into the contest in the third quarter; a 9-0 run early in that frame cut the deficit down to something a little more manageable and the Wildcats went to the fourth quarter down 14, 52-38. A Levi Botten three-pointer near the end of the frame set Mount Si up well for the final stanza.
The Wildcats opened the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run to climb back into it and make things very interesting. Sammamish, which had been in control from the outset, started feeling the pressure, only making what was quickly becoming a very entertaining contest even moreso. And that was clearly evident with six minutes left to go, when a rather wild sequence of play ended with referee’s whistles and a technical foul called on Totem senior Sami Jarjour for what the officials indicated was unsportsmanlike conduct. Atkinson hit one of the two free throws which resulted from that technical foul call and Mount Si retained possession of the ball, which they took full advantage of with a basket by Anthony McLaughlin which cut the deficit to just four at 54-50.
Mount Si tried to push towards the lead, but could get no closer, as Sammamish then pulled away and closed the deal with solid free throw shooting.
Botten finished the game with 10 points to pace the Wildcats, while Jacob West added 13 to aid the Totems. John Steinberg pitched in 11, and Dakota Olsen added 12 to also pace the Sammamish efforts.
Mount Si hosts Interlake tonight at Mount Si High School, game time is around 8:00 p.m.