Stingy perimeter defense propelled the Mercer Island Islanders boys basketball team to a 3A KingCo victory against the Redmond Mustangs.
Mercer Island, who allowed a meager seven points in the first half of play, grinded out a 46-31 win against Redmond on Jan. 20 at Mercer Island High School. The Islanders improved their overall record to 10-6 (9-2 league) with the victory. Redmond dropped to 7-9 (6-5 league).
Mercer Island head coach Gavin Cree said his team’s defensive game plan centered on covering Redmond star player Aleks Bober. Bober, who scored a team-high 11 points for the Mustangs in the loss, didn’t record his first bucket until the third quarter.
“No. 4 (Bober) can really shoot the ball. I thought we defended him pretty well for the most part. He hit some tough shots but Shain Scott did a phenomenal job on him on the perimeter. He (Scott) is a very determined player. That goes a long way. He is always locked into the game plan. I thought Joe Gormley played some good defense on the perimeter as well,” Cree said.
Redmond head coach Todd Rubin said both teams played great games defensively.
“They obviously made more plays than us on offense. We struggled a little bit,” Rubin said.
• The Mercer Island Islanders girls basketball team remained perfect in 3A KingCo play on the hardwood with an impressive performance against the Redmond Mustangs.
The Islanders, who had three different players score in double figures, cruised to a 62-49 win against Redmond on Jan. 20 at Mercer Island High School. Mercer Island improved to 13-3 (11-0 league) with the victory while Redmond dropped to 9-7 (6-4 league).
Redmond, who trailed by 17 points early in the fourth quarter, cut Mercer Island’s lead to 10 points on a Kiki Milloy basket with 1:09 left in regulation.
Redmond head coach Ashley Graham was proud of her team’s effort despite the loss.
“We worked hard, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole to come back from. Mercer Island is a good team. They are aggressive, they are physical and they work hard. Hopefully if we get another chance (playoffs) we can compete a little bit stronger,” Graham said.
The Mustangs are currently in fourth place in the 3A KingCo division. They trail the Juanita Rebels (7-4 league) by just a half game in the standings.
“We still got four games to go. It is hard to say how it is going to pan out. It is important to be in one of the top three positions because then it is a much easier road. We will compete and see what happens,” Graham said.