Week 2 of our high school hardwood previews and picks with the Wildcats meeting some Wolves from the Plateau, and the Red Wolves taking on some Tigers from up north

Good Friday morning. We have another round of picks and previews for you from the hardwood this morning, our last of these before the winter break. We’ll pick up this segment again after the start of the new year. Tonight, Cedarcrest is home hosting Granite Falls, while Mount Si is at Eastlake. Girls games first then the boys, with times noted next to each specific preview.

Mount Si Wildcats at Eastlake Wolves, Eastlake HS, Sammamish, 6:00 – Mount Si’s ladies look to reach .500 tonight, but it will be a tall order, taking on an undefeated Eastlake team.

The Wildcats, as noted, are a game under .500 at 1-2 this season, and picked up their first win of the season on Wednesday over Bothell. Leading the way in that game were Sela Heide and Nitika Kumar. The two sophomores scored 14 and 12 points respectively, and are leading the Wildcats in scoring averaging around 11-12 points a contest through the first three games. Heide is also leading the team in rebounds, with a little over six of those a game. As she continues to gain experience, look for those numbers to improve.

Eastlake established itself as the team to beat in Kingco Wednesday night, beating Woodinville 57-42 and becoming the only unbeaten team in conference play, now at 4-0 in Kingco and 6-0 overall. Seniors Gina Marxen, Cameron Edward and Stacie Keck lead the Wolves, who are establishing themselves as one of the best in the state – MaxPreps, infact, has them ranked number one overall in Washington at the 4A level.

This, as we just noted, will be a tall order. But Mount Si, as the past two games have shown, is taking strides, strides which really were not seen much if at all during last season under ex-coach Bob Richey. Coach Jason Marr seems to have found the right approach for his team, and the girls are responding well. We don’t expect a win tonight, but if the Wildcats can keep this close and competitive, that will be a continued good sign. Eastlake 70, Mount Si 55

Cedarcrest Red Wolves vs. Granite Falls Tigers, Cedarcrest HS, 6:30 – The Red Wolves look to rebound from their first loss of the season tonight as they host a Tigers team that wouldn’t mind pulling an upset to perhaps spark their season a bit.

Madi Weir leads the Red Wolves, averaging around 10 points a contest for a balanced CHS crew that has used tough defense to get to 5-1 on the season. Senior Haley Hill and freshman Jaylin Yowell both are averaging around eight points a contest providing strong support in the offensive scheme for Cedarcrest. But it’s the rebounding and defense which as we just noted has been the bread and butter for Brad Knowles’ group. The team is averaging 32 rebounds and 15 steals a game, and those numbers should not change too much tonight.

Granite is 2-3 on the season, and posted a non-conference road win on Tuesday at Vashon Island. Seniors Janasea Hott and Katie Rose are your two players to watch.

The key for the Red Wolves is a fast start. If that happens, it’ll be a good night. We think this happens and Cedarcrest gets back into the win column. Cedarcrest 55, Granite Falls 45

Mount Si Wildcats at Eastlake Wolves, Eastlake HS, Sammamish, 7:40* (*Approximate start time, should start 15-20 minutes after girls’ game concludes) – The Wildcats look to rebound from a loss Tuesday to Bothell and tonight take on an Eastlake team who themselves will look to rebound from a loss Tuesday.

Mount Si is led by their two sophomore stars, Jabe Mullins and Tyler Patterson, both of whom are averaging better than 20 points a game and who led the Wildcats in their loss to Bothell on Tuesday. Junior Bijon Sidhu will also look to rebound from a tough night on Tuesday; he was held to just four points off his 18-point debut last Friday against Inglemoor. Sidhu’s offensive struggles were a big factor for Mount Si in the 76-69 defeat to the Cougars, so look for him to bounce back tonight.

In watching Sidhu last Friday, we saw a player that looked a lot like how Tanner Riley played as a senior for Mount Si back in the 2009-10 season helping them make it to districts. As coach Jason Griffith has noted, Sidhu is a special player who really displayed a command of the floor and worked his teammates into the play during the Inglemoor contest. Sidhu is averaging five assists a game thus far; we’d look for that number to improve as he gains experience playing with this group.

Of note tonight is fans will likely not see Jesiah Irish play for Mount Si. Irish has yet to get into a game, and the senior is not expected to play tonight; we told you earlier this week that the football star has a college visit scheduled, to Oregon State University, this weekend, so he will likely be missing from the lineup for the Wildcats. That said, it is expected he should make a college decision shortly thereafter, and as soon as we get word, we’ll let you know.

Eastlake is 2-4 on the season, 1-4 in league, and fell Tuesday to Woodinville. Seniors Jaxon Williams, Aaron Barokas and Jake Shalaby lead the Wolves, who need wins quickly if they want to stay in contention in the Kingco. With just six spots available for the postseason, the teams that appear to be in the best position for those are beginning to separate themselves from the lower-rung teams. Eastlake is in that latter group, but a win tonight will allow them to assert a role as a potential spoiler team.

This Mount Si team showed itself to be very competitive in that loss against league leader Bothell on Tuesday, and if that continues tonight, the Wildcats will take care of business. We’d look for a “W” tonight for coach Griffith and company as they wind down the pre-break portion of the schedule. Mount Si 70, Eastlake 60

Cedarcrest Red Wolves vs. Granite Falls Tigers, Cedarcrest HS, 8:10* (*Approximate start time, should start 15-20 minutes after girls’ game concludes) – Cedarcrest looks for its second straight win against a struggling Tigers team.

CHS took care of Cedar Park Christian on Tuesday, and were led by the Brennan’s, LeBlanc and Mallot, both of whom finished in double figures in scoring and are now both averaging around five points a contest. Their efforts took pressure off junior Chris Busch, who is leading the team in scoring coming into tonight’s game, averaging a little over 10 a night. If Busch is focused upon by Granite’s defense tonight, players like LeBlanc, Mallot and Aaron Davenport, who is averaging around nine points a game, will need to step up and provide offensive support.

Granite comes in winless at 0-4, and off a 57-39 loss Tuesday to Sultan. The key player to watch is junior guard Ben Haider, who scored a dozen points to lead the Tigers in that contest. Senior post Camden Landrum may be another player to watch.

A win for CHS will serve them well as they approach the holiday break, and we suspect that, like with the girls, a fast start will be useful. Look for that and another victory for the Red Wolves tonight. Cedarcrest 60, Granite Falls 50

Last week: Girls 1-1 (Cedarcrest def. South Whidbey (we predicted this), Inglemoor def. Mount Si (we predicted Mount Si win); Boys 2-0 (South Whidbey def. Cedarcrest and Mount Si def. Inglemoor, both of which we correctly predicted)
Total: 3-1 (Boys 2-0, Girls 1-1)

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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