From the Goal Line
A Mercer Island Sports Blog
Jonathan Wettack was named one of U.S. Lacrosse’s Washington High School Players of the Week for the week of March 15 – 21. The senior midfielder for Mercer Island has helped the Islanders to two wins in one week. He already has 29 points this season, with 13 goals, six assists and seven ground balls.
Last Wednesday he helped the team beat Lakeside 17-2 with seven goals and two assists, before contributed six goals and four assists in the Islanders 13-0 win over Bainbridge.
Wettack, a captain of this year’s MIHS lacrosse team, also played football for three years for MI and has maintained a 3.4 GPA.
By Linda Willams Rorem
In Saturday’s “Island Wars,” an annual event in which Mercer Island and Bainbridge Island lacrosse teams, from third grade through high school varsity, go head-to-head, Mercer Island players were victorious in all nine match-ups.
The MIHS varsity team shut out Bainbridge 13-0, as did the freshman/sophomore team, at 15-0. The junior varsity game was much closer, with MI winning, 12-10.
Other scores include: 7/8 Black (select) won 13-1; 7/8 Maroon won 11-10; 7/8 White won 7-1; 5/6 Maroon won 6-2; 5/6 White won 6-2 and the 3rd-4th grade traveling team won 5-2.
The “Island Wars’ event rotates between the two island communities, and this year Mercer Island players traveled on the ferry to Bainbridge for games that started at 10 a.m. and finished with a 4 p.m. pairing between 7th-8th grade select teams.
Mercer Island and Bainbridge Island teams have long been considered friendly rivals. In 2002 and 2003, Bainbridge beat the Islanders in the Washington State Championship; in 2004, Mercer Island topped Bainbridge. After two years in which MI reigned over Issaquah in the Championships, MI and Bainbridge faced each other again in 2007, and Bainbridge won.
Somehow it is that time of year again. It seems like we speed blasted through the last two months and suddenly, and officially this weekend, it’s springtime. That of course means spring sports season (one of my favorites, if only because we move outside once again).
In the next two issues of the Reporter (March 24 and March 31) I’ll be running our spring sports previews. There are just too many teams that trying to squish them into one issue wouldn’t do the athletes justice. Over those two weeks we’ll take a look at boys soccer, boys and girls lacrosse, girls water polo, track and field, girls golf, girls tennis, fastpitch and baseball.
I’ll also be posting the season schedule for each sport on our Web site at www.mi-reporter.com so you can keep track of who is playing where.
Joel Willits, sports editor at the Bellevue Reporter (our sister paper), put up his predictions and a look at the 3A basketball state tournament this week in Tacoma.
Joel, who will be covering the Bellevue boys this week, has predictions for both the boys and girls tournaments, but I felt like his predictions were especially dead-on for the girls tournament – check out what Joel thought here.
The Mercer Island girls will face Mount Rainier tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. A win over the Rams will pit the Islanders against the winner of the Kennedy Catholic/East Valley (Spokane) game on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
A loss to Mt. Rainier pushes the Islanders into the consolation bracket to face the loser of the Kennedy Catholic/East Valley game at noon on Thursday.
From there things get murkier, at least until we know if the team starts off the tourney with a win or a loss.
Big thanks to Barry and Kathryn Mahony for passing this tidbit along.
Caroline and her older brother Gregory Mahony, both Mercer Island High School graduates and lacrosse players recently saw each other during back to back Division I lacrosse games at Hofstra in New York. The event wouldn’t be that unusual, except the duo play for different schools, on opposite sides of the country.
Caroline, a 2009 MI grad, plays for St. Mary’s College in California, while brother Greg, a 2007 MI grad, plays for Yale University.
The siblings both played games at Hofstra on Long Island in New York on Saturday, Feb. 20, with Caroline taking the field first, followed by a scrimmage between the Hofstra and Yale men’s teams.
“This is believed to be among the first, if not the first, sister-and-brother combo from different DI schools to start back-to-back games on the same day against the same school,” their parents wrote in an email.
The St. Mary’s team lost 21-3 to Hofstra.
After last night’s win over Seattle Prep the Mercer Island girls basketball team earned their spot in the Sea-King District tournament championship game. They will take on the Holy Names Cougars Saturday night (8:15 p.m. tipoff) at Bellevue College.
The Islanders have cemented their spot in next week’s state tournament at the Tacoma Dome which starts on Wednesday. Once there is an updated bracket we’ll let you know when and who the Islanders will be facing.
Until then here’s a quick look at the two teams facing off on Saturday night.
Mercer Island finished their regular season with a 11-1 KingCo record and 20-4 overall record. Top scorers include Hannah Lilly, averaging 13.2 points per game, Hailey Gullstad, averaging 10.5 per game and Jae Shin with 9.9 per game. The Islanders are well versed at spreading the offensive duties around, so pretty much anyone can score at any time. Gullstad came out of last night’s game against Seattle Prep after she crashed into the padding behind the basket in the first minute of the fourth quarter. She sat out the rest of the game and no word on whether or not it will force her to day Saturday night off, but with four days to rest we’ll have to wait and see.
Holy Names finished their Metro season undefeated at 16-0 and have a 22-2 overall record. The Cougars leading scorers, junior guard Claire Conricode averages 14.1 per game, while junior forward Erika Johnson averages 12.1 a game. During the team’s 66-47 win over Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon Conricode had 20 points, while freshman Sophie Reichelt had 22 points, the game high.
The Cougars are tall and athletic so it should make for an exciting match up against the Islanders on Saturday. Seattle Prep had trouble slowing down the Mercer Island offense, as have many teams this season. It should make for an exciting match-up on Saturday.
The Mercer Island girls basketball team – who earned a first round bye in the district tournament – will be playing Lakeside tomorrow night starting at 6:30 p.m. at Bellevue College.
The girls, who had to top seed going into the tournament, are searching for one of the four state berths given to the KingCo and Metro league teams.
If the girls win on Friday night they will move into the semi-finals on March 2. Here’s a breakdown on the possibilities:
With a win: girls advance to 8:15 p.m. March 2 semi-final at Bellevue College. They will play either Nathan Hale or Seattle Prep (whoever wins)
With a loss: girls move into consolation bracket and play the loser of the Nathan Hale/Seattle Prep game. If the girls lose at any point after this they will be done for the season.
Also still alive in the girls tournament is Juanita, who will play Holy Names and Bellevue who goes up against Cleveland.
The championship game will be held March 6 at Bellevue College. The top four teams from this tournament advance to the state tournament in Tacoma March 10-13.
The All-KingCo basketball teams were announced at the end of the KingCo basketball tournament last Friday night.
Named to the first team from Mercer Island was junior Quinn Sterling and senior Kaj Sherman. Brian Miller received an honorable mention, while Bellevue’s Aaron Bright was named the KingCo boys league MVP and Sammamish coach Wes Newton was coach of the year.
In the girls league Hailey Gullstad was named the MVP while Islander head coach Jamie Prescott was the coach of the year.
Named to the first team from Mercer Island was Hannah Lilly, while Kate DaPron and Jae Shin were named to the second team.
This afternoon the Mercer Island boys basketball team will take on Mt. Si in the second round of the KingCo playoffs. They outlasted Juanita in a loser out game on Tuesday. Here are some of head coach Gavin Cree’s thoughts on Tuesday night and what the team needs to accomplish today.
“At half time we felt like Juanita had outhustled us. We challenged the players to play harder and with more energy, but also to play smarter. The first half was littered with turnovers and a lack of ball movement. In the second half, we moved the ball better and were able to break down their zone a little bit easier. Juanita’s coaching staff does a great job of taking their opponents out of their comfort zone. They make you play sloppy, they have done it all year. We were able to hold on and beat them going away by 17 which was a nice accomplishment.”
On the fact that MI beat Mount Si in their last meeting:
“Having beat them last week gives us confidence going into the Kingco playoff matchup. We need to outrebound them and take care of the basketball. Any time we can do those two things, we become a very difficult team to beat. I know Mount Si will come out hungry though and we will need to exceed their will to win. That was the case last week and it will be the key this time as well.”
On standout players during the Juanita game:
“Sloan Aikens and Ben Emanuels played terrific defense on Ryon Cunnigan all night. Cunnigan averages close to 20 a game and we were able to hold him to 15 and a very low shooting percentage. Those two guys have been stoppers for us all year. They are doing a great job. It helped us to hold Juanita to 33 points.”
Here’s press release from Michael Kennett with the Washington Stealth lacrosse team. If you are heading up to the game, make sure to take donation and if you don’t have any other plans for that night, why not take in a professional sporting event and help the community out at the same time?
Everett, Wash. – On Friday, Feb. 19, the Washington Stealth will be holding a food drive and fundraiser to benefit Northwest Harvest during its game against the Calgary Roughnecks at the Comcast Arena. Northwest Harvest and its 300+ partner food banks across the state of Washington provide nutritious food to those in need, and this weekend will be another opportunity to help.
“We are excited to begin this partnership and work with the Stealth for a long time,” said Cherry Street Food Bank Manager, Matt Campbell, who is in his third year with Northwest Harvest. “We hope people will come out and support the team and help out Northwest Harvest in the process.”
Fans attending the game are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate to Northwest Harvest. Monetary donations will also be accepted. The Stealth will also be making a $5,000 donation to Northwest Harvest at halftime. Fans can also bid on autographed Stealth merchandise and prize packages during the game, with all the proceeds benefitting Northwest Harvest.
The event gives Northwest Harvest a chance to further broaden its reach throughout the state of Washington. “We have food banks across the state, including a number of banks in Snohomish County,” added Campbell, “but we haven’t held too many events in Everett. The Stealth are getting noticed up there and they provide a great avenue to help out the community.”
Northwest Harvest receives no city, county, state, or federal funding for operating expenses and relies solely on contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, and other organizations.
The Stealth take on the defending National Lacrosse League Champion Calgary Roughnecks on Friday at the Comcast Arena at Everett. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at just $13 and can be purchased by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.