A big third-quarter statement from senior Buck sparks Mount Si girls hoops to home win…plus a split for Red Wolve hoops at home with former Cascade rival CPC

Mount Si High School girls’ basketball senior player Joelle Buck (center, in mid-air) puts the ball into the basket for a lay-up in the third quarter, part of a 15-point effort in the frame that helped spark a Wildcats win over Monroe last night. She finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, a double-double. Teammate Nikita Kumar (white jersey) looks on at left along with Monroe’s Adria Lincoln (black jersey). (Rhett Workman/SVSJ)

Good Saturday morning. A lot of action on the hardwood last night and we start it off in Snoqualmie with Mount Si High School’s girls’ basketball squad as they hosted Monroe. The team came into last night in the midst of a two-game win streak following their win on Wednesday over Redmond. However, the team struggled some out of the gate in the first half, allowing the Wesco 4A’s Bearcats to keep things interesting. So, a situation like this usually requires senior leadership to, well, lead. If you’re Joelle Buck, that’s what you do, and she did just that.

Buck went on a tear in the third quarter, scoring 15 of what turned out to be a game-high 18 points in the frame, along with 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season, and Mount Si used that to spark a strong second-half effort to sink the visitors from the Sky Valley 50-38 in front of a small, but lively crowd at Mount Si’s gymnasium.

“I think (the) first half was tough for all of us overall,” Buck said. “Second half we were like ‘we were not going to lose this game’, like ‘we’ve got to blow them out’, so I think everyone came out intense and intent to win the game.” That first half saw the Bearcats take a 20-18 lead into the break before Mount Si mounted its run, outscoring Monroe 17-10 in the third anchored by the senior swing player’s efforts, and closed things out. Coach Jason Marr says its still a work in progress. “I just think we’re trying to find out how to be consistent right now. Some of that is not having these lulls in the first quarter like we’ve had,” the Wildcats’ head man said. “We’ve got to make sure we come out like we’ve had in the third quarters at the beginning of the game,” in essence, looking for a full 32 minutes from the group.

Mount Si’s girls’ basketball team discusses strategy during a second-half timeout in last night’s 50-32 win over Monroe. The team has started 3-1 this season, and that’s with injuries to two top players, Gwen Aasland (center, in red T-shirt) and Sela Heide (upper left in black T-shirt). Heide  (Rhett Workman/SVSJ)

Nitika Kumar added 10 points to pace Mount Si, who hit just 30% from the floor in this one. Offensive struggles like what they have had thus far – the team has averaged a 34% clip shooting in the first four games, with just 21% of their shots made from beyond the three-point line – are to be expected when the team is missing key players in both Gwen Aasland and Sela Heide. The Wildcats’ strength this season, and what likely was going to help fuel their offense, was expected to be their post play, with perhaps the deepest group of posts in this league in the senior – and likely Division I college signee – Heide, junior Aasland and sophomore Lauren Glazier.

Well, Heide’s out, working her way back from an offseason knee injury and Aasland’s out, too, after herself suffering a knee injury in the win last week over Holy Names for which she is going to get surgery for over the holiday break and miss the rest of the season, meaning Glazier’s having to hold things down there herself. She had an off night last night compared to her games last week – seven points, seven rebounds – but Marr’s got plenty of confidence in her. “Lauren’s got immense potential so she’s going to be fine,” he said. “She’s getting a lot of minutes and she’s doing a lot of little things like some rebounds and some blocked shots.” The coach added, “She can be a big part of what we’re doing.”

Another aspect to the overall play thus far has been the team’s two freshmen, both of whom showed a little bit of their skills last night. Grace Turley and Makhayla Adams both got plenty of minutes, and both contributed, with Adams pitching in five points, three rebounds and two steals while Turley delivered a rebound and a steal but no points. Adams in particular, even though she played just eight minutes, really made her efforts count, too, and that was with her not at 100% dealing with a foot injury. “After sitting out the whole second quarter, I realized I needed to step my game up,” she said. After listening to the team’s halftime speech, the freshman was ready. “I decided I needed to step up because I’m a freshman and I’ve got to prove my spot on the team and I just kept going from there,” Adams said.

“Both Makhayla and Grace are going to get a ton of minutes and they’re going to get a lot of experience and they just have to, when they get in there, just play like they’re capable,” Marr said. “We’re excited to see them grow as the season goes on.”

Adria Lincoln had a double-double of 17 points and 12 boards to lead Monroe.

The Wildcats are back into Kingco play next week, hosting the defending state 4A champs from Eastlake on Wednesday at 7:15. The Wolves are viewed as a candidate to defend led by senior post – and Arizona State-bound – Keeli Burton, and junior guard Haley Huard, yes, one of the Huard’s. They also have one of the top high school coaches in the state in Sara Goldie and this is a squad that’s going to be a bear, that’s for sure. However, as you may remember last season, the Wildcats upset the Wolves on their old home floor at Mount Si, so there is that to think about.

Cedarcrest boys, girls split against former league rivals
It was a big night of basketball last night in the lower Valley as the Cedarcrest Red Wolves welcomed in former Cascade Conference rival Cedar Park Christian for a girls/boys doubleheader last night in Duvall. And the two schools split the two games.

Cedarcrest’s girls started it off rolling to a 63-21 win over the visiting Eagles. The Red Wolves defense broke out of the gate quickly, going to halftime up 40, then with continuous clock for the whole second half was able to maintain things and get the win. CHS head coach Brad Knowles was pleased. “Probably one of our best games in the past couple of years as far as execution of our offense and passing. Our press was very effective too,” he told us by email. With the dominating result, that allowed everyone that suited up to play and contribute. Rose Carlson led the scoring with 10 points, but as noted, everyone pitched in, such as Ava Erhardt with eight points, Helena Van Ess and Kat Townley with seven and four more with six points each including Jaylin Yowell, Ava LaPorte and Madelyn “Mad Dog” Davidson.

Cedarcrest is at Arlington on Tuesday for a 7:15 p.m. tip.

Then the two schools’ boys teams squared off, and CPC got the last laugh, taking the 70-64 victory over the Red Wolves despite a strong game from Nicolo Cammarano, who led all scorers with 21 points for CHS on a solid 8-13 from the floor. Kian Pegueros-Warren paced the Red Wolves with 12 points and Carter “Deuce” Knowles added nine. The Eagles were led by Luke Allen, who scored 15, and Trent Lynch, who added 14.

Cedarcrest’s boys host Arlington on Wednesday, also at 7:15.

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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