Good Saturday morning. We hit the hardwood this morning for some high school girls’ basketball. The biggest question any high school basketball team has, frankly any high school sports team has, coming into the season when they have had a coaching change in the prior offseason is how the team will adjust to the new coaches. Well, that has been the big question this fall for Mount Si High School’s girls’ basketball team, as they have begun to adjust to their new coach, Robert Lowden, and his style of play. If the early results are any indication, it appears that things are going very smoothly for the ladies.
Mount Si got strong efforts from their two top scorers, and also some solid defense down the stretch, as they held off Eisenhower from Yakima 67-51 at home in Snoqualmie to move to 2-0 in the Lowden era.
“That was a good win,” Lowden said. He praised the Cadets. “That was a very good team, very aggressive, good shooters. They use their bodies well. I think they caught us off guard at the beginning of the game, we weren’t really ready for that physicality because we didn’t have that against Monroe, but I thought the girls responded well,” the coach said.
The game was tight throughout the first half as Eisenhower built an early lead behind solid efforts of a foursome led by senior – and Yakima Valley College – bound Mia Rodriguez. She had 10 points, all in the first half, pacing the Cadets, who were led in the game by Navaeh Lopez’s 15 points and Kiana Yesiki’s 12. The two teams went to halftime tied at 32-32, then Mount Si went to work in the third quarter, turning up the defensive pressure, but Lowden also offered praise to a couple of his younger players. “We had two sophomores come off the bench and (they) really contributed,” Lowden said, speaking of Julia Stanley and Hannah Moscrip. Fans are going to be perhaps hearing these names a lot as the season goes on. Stanley had a pair of big threes in that third quarter, while Moscrip also chipped in some points down the stretch in the contest, and both also played solid on defense.
It is this depth and getting everyone involved which Glazier, bound for WSU next fall after she signed her scholarship letter of intent with their women’s basketball program earlier this month, is very thrilled to see. “The difference between this year and last year is we work very well together,” Glazier said. “We give everyone a chance to shoot the ball (and)to make a play. Everyone gets the equal opportunity which is nice.”
Turley was also pleased with the efforts. “The team played really well. We played a tough, physical team, but we battled from start to finish,” she said. Turley is one of several players in the program – Glazier and Indi Edwards among the others – who have spent the bulk of the past 21 months thanks to COVID-19 disruptions getting much of their basketball action at the Amateur Athletic Union select level, and Turley thinks that added experience will help her this season at the high school level. “It’s just more practice and just more game reps and the more game reps, the better,” she said.
Mount Si outscored the Cadets 16-7 in the third, but after Glazier got into foul trouble early in the fourth, Eisenhower made a comeback attempt, forcing the Wildcats to perhaps bring her back into the game a little earlier they would have liked. The move proved to be the right one as Mount Si pulled away late, and a three by the Wildcat senior with about two minutes left pretty much sealed this one up.
The transition for the new coaching staff with the players has also gone smoothly. “It’s been fine. The girls have really embraced it. They like the freedom, they like to get the ball and go, they like to run. They are very athletic,” Lowden said. However, there was one caveat. “With freedom comes responsibility and that’s what we are working on,” the coach added, noting that he is working with the players on being more disciplined with the ball and in their play.
Coachability and trust in the players with their new coach won’t be a problem as he is someone very familiar to most of them. Lowden has coached for the past several years within the Mount Si feeder youth program, primarily on the boys’ side, where he has coached current Wildcat boys’ varsity players Trevor Hennig and Blake Forrest. “I’ve been in the Valley. I know the families, I know the girls,” Lowden said. “I’ve watched (Mount Si boys) Coach (Jason) Griffith and what he’s done with the boys and I think that kind of style translates.” So look for that trust and confidence to build as the successes keep going up with this group.
Next week, Mount Si opens Kingco 4A play with a game against the Redmond Mustangs next Wednesday night. The game will tip at 7:15 p.m.
Cedarcrest opens season on solid note: Kat Townley popped in 17 points for Cedarcrest High School’s ladies as they made their annual trek to Mount Vernon High School and left with a 55-32 win over the Northwest Conference team. Holly Williams added 15 and Madelyn “Mad Dog” Davidson dropped in 14 pacing the Red Wolves. “It’s always nice to win the first game of the season,” CHS coach Brad Knowles tells us by email. “We had a great start, scoring 20 points in the first quarter, but slowed a little in the second frame. We had a seven point lead at halftime, but we switched defenses to start the second half and held MV to one point in the third quarter.” That defensive excellence propelled CHS the rest of the way as they handled affairs in a venue that Knowles traditionally has had his teams play at once in the regular season so they can adjust to the environment of the gymnasium, which is the site for the Northwest 2A District tournament.
“They liked the gym and it’s environment,” Knowles told us. “The biggest thing of the night, was that they were just excited to finally play a game. They really like each other and the energy on the court and on the bench was positive from the start. Playing there last night will help us when it’s district time.”
Western Washington, behind solid performance of Valley sisters, wins NCAA regional semi: The Vikings outlasted Great Northwest Athletic Conference – and in-state – rival Central Washington University in four sets, 25-21, 20-25, 28-26, 25-15, last night in the NCAA Division II West Region semifinals down in San Bernardino, CA. Backed by the efforts of Duvall’s Chloe Roetcisoender, who had 10 kills, eight blocks, four digs and an assist, and sister Tess Biscup, who had seven kills, two digs and a block, the Vikings advanced to the regional final today where they will meet California State University-Los Angeles.
WWU made it to last night’s semi with a win Wednesday over arch-rival Simon Fraser in the tournament opener, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23. Biscup was on fire in this one, with 17 kills, a block and a dig, while Roetcisoender had 10 kills, four blocks, two assists and an ace. Both ladies are juniors and graduates of Cedar Park Christian School in Bothell. WWU plays in the regional final tonight at 7:30 with the winner advancing to the national quarterfinals next weekend down in Tampa.
Lute men win: Pacific Lutheran University’s men opened their Northwest Conference (NCAA Division III) road swing to Portland last night knocking off Lewis & Clark College 71-63 in front of a very small crowd of just over 100 fans down at LCC’s campus in the Rose City. Junior Brett Williams, from North Bend, had five points in 34 minutes of work for PLU, who moved to 4-2 on the season with the win. They are at Pacific University of Oregon tonight to finish out the weekend trip to PDX.