Monroe Overpowers Bear Creek in Opening Round of Holiday Tourney By Steven Dion
Monday- December 29
Monroe Freshman Colby Kyle
The 44th Annual Holiday High School Boys Basketball Tournament tipped off on Monday night at Bellevue College as eight teams vie for the title. The second of four games slated would match Monroe of 4A Wesco and 1A Emerald City league squad Bear Creek. The winner would advance to face King’s in the second round whereas the team that fell in this contest would take on Hazen in the consolation bracket.
Monroe wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as the opening tip was advanced up the floor and converted to an easy layup in the opening seconds. The Grizzlies were not fazed by the quick basket as they strung together some offense primarily through Jonny Magee and Jordan Block. The pair accounted for 19 of BC’s 22 first half points. Coach Tyson Horner’s Bearcats grew stronger as the first half rolled along, especially after freshman Colby Kyle threw down a dunk after a steal on the defensive end. This propelled Monroe to taking a 26-19 lead midway through the second quarter prompting Coach Tyler Mendezona to call a Grizzlies timeout after his team’s confidence started to wane. At the break, the Bearcats accumulated a double digit lead as the scoreboard read 33-22.
The third quarter began with a three-point spree as Monroe’s Rhen Shore and BC’s Block heated up from beyond the arc. However, trading buckets did not change the Bearcats lead heading into the final quarter. The Grizzlies needed a major run, but the call was not answered. There was a chance to cut the deficit to single digits midway through the fourth, but BC could not quite muster a late rally as the Bearcats locked up a 16 point victory.
The Final Score: Monroe 55 Bear Creek 39
Top Performers: Monroe
Rhen Shore-13 points (5/9 FGs, 3 3-pointers)
Jordan Block-17 points (6/13 FG’s, 5 3-pointers)
1A State Finals Preview, Colville vs. Cascade Christian By Steven Dion
Saturday will mark the fifth time since 2008 that Cascade Christian has played for a 1A state title with the Cougs from the Puyallup Valley claiming the hardware in ’10. The senior class for CCHS is loaded and appears to have the pieces to overturn the close-calls in recent years. Colville will present a hefty challenge though as the Indians have had an impressive run in ’14 en route to their first state championship appearance. There was a 4 game stretch midway through the season where Randy Cornwell’s team outscored opponents 191-7! Colton Vining’s ability to run the ball against a Cougar defense unit which packs a punch in addition to its speed with the likes of Mason Tobeck and Riley Ramos will be an interesting matchup.
The ability of Colville to stop the rushing attack of Zach Bartolome and Robert Terhune who tallied 310 yards on the ground last week will also dictate the outcome of this contact. I talked to CCHS head coach Randy Davis this week and he mentioned how his team used last year’s overtime loss in the semis as motivation to get in the weight room to take care of unfinished business in 2014. Quarterback Jaelin Goldsmith is playing his best football when it matters most and has his sights set on repeating a similar performance as last week when he threw for 235 yards and 4 touchdowns. So far, the extra work has paid dividends, but he also said in his few game tapes of Colville understands the challenge ahead of his team Saturday morning. A long road trip across the state and a chance to grab the first state title in school history is certainly enough motivation for a hungry Colville squad.
Seattle Academy Spoils Host Lancers Christmas Party By Steven Dion
The nightcap of the first round of the Sterling Athletics Christmas Classic featured the Cardinals of Seattle Academy and host Kennedy Catholic. Despite their 1A classification, the SA Cardinals carry a much deeper roster as their team of fifteen outnumbers their 3A counterpart by five players. Additionally, the Cardinals are composed of entirely upperclassmen with the exception of sophomore guard Ian McManus. Conversely, Kennedy’s Spencer Weisberg is the lone senior on the young Lancers squad from the Seamount League. Would Kennedy be able to feed off their home crowd en route to the second round of the Christmas Classic?
The first four minutes of the contest were sloppy from an offensive standpoint as Kennedy was stuck at three points for extended time. Seattle Academy was slow out of the gates too as their star trio of Daniel Davydov, Ben Gerke, and Jeremiah Hobbs combined for seven points in the first eight minutes. After trailing 11-5 in the first quarter, Kennedy’s offense woke up. The Lancers netted seven field goals and earned some trips to the charity stripe where they knocked down four of five. Seattle Academy upped their efficiency in the second frame too as their seventeen points protected their lead heading into halftime. Seattle Academy’s ability to keep all four Lancer posts scoreless in the first half earned them a 28-24 lead into the break.
After knocking down only one three-ball in the first half, Seattle Academy found their touch from the perimeter in the third quarter. Gerke and Davydov both drained two from downtown in a back-breaking third frame for the Lancers. The Cardinals were able to increase their point total in each successive quarter whereas Kennedy experience a significant dropoff after their strong second frame. Leading by eleven going into the final eight minutes, the Cardinals were able to allot minutes to their bench and put the game into cruise control down the stretch. Burying nine of eleven free throws in the fourth put a stamp on the contest as the senior Daniel Davydov continued his consistent scoring with seven of his game-high twenty two coming in the final quarter. When the dust settled, Seattle Academy rolled to a 65-45 win.
Top Performer: Seattle Academy
Daniel Davydov – 22 points (8/10 FT’s)
University Prep Pumas Pounce on Eastside Prep By Steven Dion
On a night with a light slate of high school hoops, there was business to take care of between host University Prep and Eastside Preparatory at the Puma Dome. The visiting Eagles’ roster was a few men short of a full nest which meant long minutes for the squad from Kirkland. The Pumas established their dominance early as they got into a groove converting transition buckets and shooting efficiently from beyond the arc. After the contest UPrep coach Bill Sauvage emphasized the importance of staying disciplined and not straying from Puma basketball in contests that are one-sided. Eagle junior James Rimmer knocked down some jumpers to build some competitive momentum for EPHS.
Unlike Eastside, the Pumas had the luxury of spreading minutes to the extent of their bench. With a running clock for the bulk of the second half, the scoring was reduced based on the time constraints. When the buzzer sounded, the Pumas picked up a comfortable win in front of the home crowd by the final score of 74-28. Coach Sauvage says his UPrep team has tough games ahead, so enjoy the win, but understand there is much work to be done. When his team shoots well and rebounds efficiently despite being slightly undersized, the Pumas can challenge for a Northwest crown this season.