Mount Si girls’ hoops scores win, while Cedarcrest’s boys fall on road….and some more on tomorrow’s outreach by MSHS boys’ hoops in support of fellow Mount Si student facing fight of his life

Mount Si High School’s girls’ basketball team returned home for the first time last night following the winter break hosting Bothell, and this season thus far has been a tremendous one for this Wildcat crew – their best to this point in a season in several years. But a pair of key injuries to starting players has left Mount Si needing to utter the mantra “Next girl up” as it looks to keep on pace for a trip to the playoffs. Well, that’s exactly what happened as the Wildcats rolled to a nice win.

After grabbing the rebound following a Mount Si missed shot attempt, Wildcat sophomore girls’ basketball player Gwen Aasland (center) attempts another shot at the basket; it went in for two of her eight points helping Mount Si win last night’s game over Bothell. (Rhett Workman/SVSJ)

Freshman Lauren Glazier had a breakout game, leading Mount Si with 14 points as the Wildcats handled the winless in league Cougars 59-33. Glazier told us she’s had a strong past couple of games, and it boils down to one thing: confidence. “I have really believed in myself and I have had confidence in my shooting,” she said. She was a solid 5-10 from the floor and also added seven rebounds to the effort, part of 45 total on the night for Mount Si, another factor that helped things greatly.

“This (was) a good game because we have Eastlake Friday and this could have been one of those letdown games where we don’t focus on the job at hand and I think we came out and set the tone for the most part throughout the whole game and played the way we should’ve,” said Wildcat head coach Jason Marr, whose team moved to 9-5 on the season, the best at this point since the 2011-12 season under former head coach Megan Botulinski. Sela Heide returned from an ankle injury she suffered in the win this past Saturday by Mount Si and, too, scored 14 points. She was pleased with the effort. “I think it was a good game defensively. We worked hard in our zone and that turned out well,” Heide said. “We moved the ball really well tonight, which was good, and we’re able to hit the shots we’re supposed to and get the ball inside when we needed to.”

It was a tight start early as Bothell worked to stay close in the contest at the outset. But a pair of three-pointers toward the end of the first frame – one by Glazier and a second by defensive stalwart Carly Britton – sparked Mount Si the rest of the way, and as it turned out, all nine players who played played good minutes and contributed, important because the Wildcats were without junior starters Izzy Smith and Nitika Kumar. Both suffered knee injuries – Smith last Friday in Mount Si’s loss at Woodinville and Kumar’s as we’ve told you in the Wildcat loss at Newport before winter break – and were on the bench last night wearing identical leg/knee braces on their right legs. Both will be wearing those the rest of the season as they both are out until next season.

Britton’s defensive efforts proved to be a nice help for the overall team performance, and she was happy with how things went. “I think a lot of my struggles this year have come from confidence and just having my team supporting me through it and I’ve just built some confidence tonight and that showed,” she said.

Mount Si is 2-1 in Kingco play following their return from Phoenix and the Nike Tournament of Champions over the holidays, and Marr thinks playing the Arizona opposition they played down there will be helpful when they reach the postseason, which looks to be almost a lock at this point based on where things stand currently. The Wildcats are 4-3 in league overall and in third in the Crest Division. “Phoenix was good in the aspect that we played teams that were similar with what we would see when we got to playoffs – quality teams that run and are scrappy,” Marr said. “Good learning experience for us down there for sure.”

The feature matchup down there was between Heide and Pinnacle (Phoenix) freshman post Kennedy Basham, a matchup we talked a lot about here during the tournament, as it was one of the few times Heide has faced a player matching her height and talent level. Heide hopes for continued success for Basham in her high school career. “I have a lot of respect for her. I know that she is a freshman and the next three years she’ll get a lot stronger and build her game more,” she said.

But Arizona is in the past now and on deck for Mount Si is a Wolves team who is the leaders in the Crest and among the best bets perhaps to win the Kingco 4A title this season. Eastlake beat the Wildcats at EHS earlier in the season so Mount Si will look to return the favor on their home floor tomorrow. “I think we’re going to make it a competitive game. I think we proved tonight that we can all step up and help out,” Britton said.

Game time is 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night at MSHS and we’ll have a preview and pick for you tomorrow. Also note that following the girls’ game will be the boys’ game between the two schools and the Wildcat boys’ program’s recognition of the battle fellow Mount Si student Ryan Gerlitz is fighting against cancer. We’ll have a little more on that shortly.

Boys: Cedarcrest unable to recover from slow start, falls to Stanwood
Cedarcrest High School’s boys were outscored 23-9 in the opening frame by the Spartans and that proved to be the difference in the end as Stanwood handed CHS a 70-57 loss last night at SHS. The two teams played equal in the final three quarters, and Red Wolves coach Joe Ayers was pleased with how well his team continued to compete despite the slow start.

“I was happy with how hard we fought all the way to the end tonight. We got some good shots in the first quarter…..just couldn’t get them to drop,” Ayers said by email to the SVSJ, adding, “which put us a little too far behind a pretty good Stanwood team. We did however outscore them in the final three quarters. This was a great test for us in a playoff environment (against) a playoff-caliber team. I am confident we are better after playing this game.”

Brennan LeBlanc led CHS with 12 points and Cameron Brady, last week’s SVSJ Cedarcrest boys Athlete of the Week, paced the Red Wolves with 10. Mitch Jones scored a game-high 20 for the Spartans, and Cort Roberson added 15 to the winning efforts. CHS plays Marysville-Pilchuck tomorrow and we’ll have a preview and pick for you then.

This wristband is among the items that have been created to help support Mount Si High School student Ryan Gerlitz, who is battling cancer. The Wildcats boys’ basketball program will be recognizing his courageous battle tomorrow night at their home basketball game with Eastlake. (Rhett Workman/SVSJ)

More on Mount Si boys’  basketball program’s efforts to support fellow MSHS student battling cancer
As we noted yesterday in our Mount Si High School boys’ game story, the Wildcat program tomorrow night for their home game with Eastlake will be taking the time to recognize and call attention to the fight a fellow Mount Si student is facing, a very big fight.

Freshman Ryan Gerlitz, whose name you have seen here in the past as part of our summer youth baseball coverage, is currently battling cancer, and the Wildcat program will be showing its support for him and his family at tomorrow night’s game. We were told by head coach Jason Griffith last night that there will be T-shirts handed out at the game supporting the cause, and during halftime of last night’s game, in recognition of our efforts to spread the word about all this on Twitter (tweets on our @snovalleysports feed that have earned us over 30 likes and several re-tweets), Gerlitz’s older sister, Mount Si girls’ soccer athlete Bella, handed us a wrist band that is also expected to be available at the game tomorrow also in support of Ryan.

This blue wrist band has “Ryan Strong” on one side and a hashtag, “#CuckFancer” on the other side, which if you can figure out the real meaning of that hashtag after switching a couple letters, well, we’ll just leave it at that since it wouldn’t be fit to print. Still, though, that real meaning is what his family, friends and community are hoping he will be able to do. Having this Valley’s support behind him will help make that a much stronger bet. So if you can make it out tomorrow, please do so. Griffith is asking you all to come support this cause, and support the family. The coach also told us the family is expected to make a statement about Ryan’s fight at the game tomorrow so please be there and help support the efforts. Game time is at 8:10 or so following the end of the girls’ game.

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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