Mount Si boys basketball defeats Juanita, 55-45

February 5, 2014

By Sam Kenyon

 

File  Senior Point Guard Jack Nelson drives past an opponent during a Jan. 24 game.

File
Senior Point Guard Jack Nelson drives past an opponent during a Jan. 24 game.

The Mount Si Wildcats beat the Juanita Rebels in a solid performance that capitalized on a hot shooting night from the three point line. The Wildcats won 55-45 Jan. 31 at the Kirkland school. The Wildcats led every quarter and kept the lead at a respectable distance through the whole game. The win brings their overall record to 9-9.

The night started with some hot shooting from Mount Si senior point guard Jack Nelson and sophomore forward Colton Swain, who each made two. The strong shooting helped create the Mount Si point buffer that would last all game.

The Wildcat defense played hard all night, forcing Juanita into turning the ball over early and often in the first half. At halftime, the Wildcats were up 29 – 21.

Coach Kyle Clearman was not happy with what happened next.

“We had a … very subpar, underachieving second half,” he said.

The Wildcats were plagued with turnovers and the hot shooting dried up. Clearman said his team is not a great shooting team from distance, so the first half scoring from deep was unusual. In the second half, Mount Si tried to run their offense through the post more often, which is closer to their usual offensive identity.

Although the Wildcats didn’t take great care of the ball during the second half, they continued to force Juanita into turnovers, which helped secure their lead. Toward the end of the game, as has been their habit the last several contests, the Wildcats cranked up their defensive pressure in the final minutes. As in games past, this pressure on the inbound pass yielded a few turnovers. Unfortunately the Wildcats gave the ball back immediately following one of these forced turnovers.

Clearman was especially upset at the turnovers. In the first half, Mount Si had 10 assists and 2 turnovers. In the second half, they had 4 assists and 14 turnovers.

“Obviously we have to go look at the tape and reflect on who we are as a team,” Clearman said. “We have to start playing more unselfish basketball.”

Only two players scored more than 10 points for Mount Si. Nelson led the team in scoring with 13 points as well as 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. Senior forward Beau Shain poured in 12 points, 3 assists, and 7 rebounds.

Clearman said he wanted to give the boys the day off from practice the next day, but despite the win he felt their performance was disappointing, so the team had to get back in the gym and work.

Their specific focus for the game against Sammamish was to improve the offensive ball movement.

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