Time now for some Friday previews and picks…..from the hardwood

Good Friday morning. As you all know, during football season, we bring you each Friday our previews and picks for Valley high school football, with the matchups for both Mount Si and Cedarcrest High Schools. We, as has been our custom during basketball season, are bringing that back this week for the first of several Friday night preview and pick segments. We’ll be doing this every Friday night where both the Wildcat and Red Wolve boys and girls are competing, so look for that here. Our first installment of our hardwood picks and previews this week features Cedarcrest taking a ferry ride up to see some Falcons from South Whidbey, while Mount Si’s boys and girls get their home schedule underway with a pair against Inglemoor.

Cedarcrest Red Wolves @ South Whidbey Falcons, South Whidbey HS, Langley, 5:00 – Cedarcrest has had a strong start to its season, undefeated at 4-0 after a big overtime road win on Wednesday night up in Anacortes over the Seahawks. Tonight, the Red Wolves hop on the ferry up to Whidbey Island seeking to continue that unbeaten start against a team looking for its first conference win in SW.

The Falcons are 1-2 to start the season, but are coming off a blowout loss to Archbishop Murphy in their conference opener on Tuesday in which they scored just 16 points. With the Red Wolves’ emphasis on defense, points for them may be at a bit of a premium again so the key for Cedarcrest is a fast start. Among the players to watch as they seek that is senior post Madi Weir, who is averaging around 12 points a game, and fellow senior Elaine Townley, who has struggled a bit offensively after scoring 17 in the season opener against Liberty. But a story to keep an eye on for CHS is the emergence of freshman Jaylin Yowell.

Yowell put her team on her back Wednesday night, scoring nine of her game-high (and high-school career high) 18 to almost double her per-game scoring average, from just under five all the way up to eight points a game. Add in that she’s also making waves in several other areas of her game especially on defense and you have a girl that might be making a case for Cascade freshman of the year. Her play, according to coach Brad Knowles, even caused a buzz among the opposing Anacortes parents on Wednesday. Knowles calls Yowell “special” and perhaps, she will be a player to watch these next four years.

Senior Mackenzee Collins, who Red Wolve fans should know from softball, where she is the ace pitcher for the Falcon softball team and who has signed with Colorado State University to play that sport starting in the spring of 2019 at the college level, along with sophomore Lexi Starets-Foote, lead the SW ladies.

As noted, with the Falcons having only posted 16 points against Murphy on Tuesday, and the Red Wolves establishing themselves as a strong defensive team in their 4-0 start, we expect this, provided they stay on message, to be a short and sweet rout. Look for CHS to move to 5-0 and start to establish themselves potentially as a league title contender. Cedarcrest 60, South Whidbey 40

Mount Si Wildcats vs. Inglemoor Vikings, Mount Si HS, Snoqualmie, 6:30 – Tonight’s home opener for Mount Si’s ladies see them taking on an Inglemoor team who has struggled a bit out of the gate.

Inglemoor’s ladies come in at 1-3 on the season, but are already 0-3 in Kingco play, so they really are going to need to win tonight or they could be out of the playoff hunt before they even have a chance to blink. The Vikings fell on Wednesday to Woodinville 80-53. Leading the way for Inglemoor is junior forward Jenna Troy, averaging nearly 18 points and seven boards a game through these first four contests that the Vikings have played. On Monday, she scored 16 in an Inglemoor loss to Newport. Two other players from the Vikings to keep an eye on are freshman guard Lucy Young and junior guard Eva Taylor, both of whom are averaging around nine points a game.

Mount Si, of course, has only played one game – their loss Monday at Woodinville – and the sophomore tandem of Sela Heide, Joelle Buck and Nitika Kumar, who combined for 25 points in the game against the Falcons, will be the go-to’s for a Wildcat crew that will look to rebound from that season-opening defeat. Mount Si will be playing its first home game under new coach Jason Marr, so the challenge will be to give the fans a great first impression of what they can expect as the season wears on.

With the Vikings struggling out of the gate, and needing to get a league win and fast or they could be out of the playoff hunt already, Inglemoor will have to have its ‘A’ game ready. With the Wildcats having only played one game, fresher legs may be a help for Mount Si in this one, but the idea as well they could improve their playoff chances some with a win could also be a nice incentive. The goal is simple – make the playoffs this season. They have a chance to take a step in that direction tonight. If Heide and the other sophomores can shut down Troy, and keep this score in the 40’s, we’d look for a win. Mount Si 42, Inglemoor 40

Cedarcrest Red Wolves @ South Whidbey Falcons, South Whidbey HS, Langley, 6:40* (*approximate start time, should start around 20 minutes after conclusion of preceding girls’ game) – CHS hits the road and hops on the ferry tonight to Whidbey Island to meet an undefeated Falcons team who is looking real good to start the 2017-18 campaign.

For South Whidbey, the two players to watch are junior Kody Newman and senior guard Lewis Pope. Newman had 28 and Pope added 22 for the Falcons in their 73-60 win over Sultan on Tuesday that moved them to 3-0 on the season. Those two are among just three players on varsity who are juniors or seniors – the rest of the squad are sophomores, so youth could be a factor if Cedarcrest’s defense can shut them down tonight.

The Red Wolves, of course, were routed on Wednesday at home by Mountlake Terrace, a night after scoring a big win to open conference play over Archbishop Murphy. Senior Aaron Davenport will seek to help right the Cedarcrest ship after taking such a tough loss at home following that great accomplishment against the Wildcats. If the Red Wolves can’t stop the two Falcon offensive horses, or sophomores Levi Buck or Carson Wrightson, both of whom also finished in double figures in their win Tuesday, it could be a long night. Look for a close game, but likely for SW to get it done. South Whidbey 60, Cedarcrest 55

Mount Si Wildcats vs. Inglemoor Vikings, Mount Si HS, Snoqualmie, 8:10* (*approximate start time, should start 20 minutes or so following conclusion of girls game) – The Wildcats’ much-awaited season finally gets underway tonight against an Inglemoor squad that is struggling out of the gate to start the campaign.

The Vikings are winless on the season at 0-3, but are led by sophomore Zach Shimek. Shimek is averaging just around 16 points and five rebounds a contest in the early portion of things. Inglemoor is coming off a loss Monday at Newport in which the guard scored 23 points on a solid 9-16 from the floor. A couple of other players to keep an eye on out of Monday’s game are junior Peyton Reed and senior Spencer Johnson. Reed scored 13 points in the 71-63 Inglemoor defeat and is now averaging nine points a game, while Johnson had 11 and is now averaging nearly five points a game.

Mount Si is opening its season finally tonight after having had their initial season opener last Friday against Newport canceled after an incident in which a backboard was broken prior to the junior varsity games. Defense and athleticism are the hallmarks of the team this season, and a key tonight will be to see how senior Jesiah Irish and junior Jonny Barrett fare on that front against Shimek and the other aforementioned Viking players, all of whom should see plenty of the two Mount Si now two-sport stalwarts.

The Wildcats’ two go-to scorers will be sophomores Tyler Patterson and Jabe Mullins, both of whom come in having averaged better than 10 points a contest last season for Mount Si, who went 8-13 and fell in the opening round of the Kingco playoffs. Those two will look to lead the way tonight, and they have plenty of supporting cast members, including the two we previously mentioned, that will aim to help in whatever way they can.

With there likely being a lot of buzz especially inside the school about tonight’s game with Irish and Barrett as part of it, we’d expect a raucous student section, and frankly, a good crowd in general should be out for this. With the expectations of this team, interest in them may only grow as the season goes on. A good first result tonight against a team that should be beatable provided everyone does its job defensively will certainly increase the vibe for the team. Mount Si 65, Inglemoor 55

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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