A sour start to the season has turned sweet for the Redmond boys’ basketball team.
The streaking Mustangs knocked off a tough Issaquah team, 63-53, last Friday night and leapfrogged the Eagles into second place in the 4A Kingco Crest Division.
Senior guard Chris Harrington finished with a game-high 20 points for the Mustangs, who improved to 6-2 in the division and 8-4 overall. Redmond has won six straight games after starting the season 2-4.
“I like our effort,” said Redmond head coach Jeff Larson. “I think we’re playing hard and taking pride in our defense, and that’s what we try to do.”
Justin Alexander scored 10 and Will Ellis chipped in with 8 for the Mustangs, who hosted Roosevelt on Tuesday after the Reporter’s deadline and then play at Newport on Friday.
The Mustangs opened the game against Issaquah with a sluggish first quarter, scoring just nine points, but stepped up its defense in the second quarter to pull to within one point at halftime, 23-22.
Harrington found his stroke after halftime, as red-hot Redmond outscored the Eagles, 41-30, in the second half. Harrington is averaging 17.8 points per game over his last five games.
“He had a big game again,” Larson of Harrington. “He was hurt early in the season last year as our starting No. 2 guard and he missed 80 percent of the year. He’s just now finding himself, but it’s not a real big surprise. Chris is a very good basketball player.”
Led by Harrington, Redmond has not lost in 2009. The Mustangs’ last loss came Dec. 30, 2008 against Mission Bay, Calif., 54-44, in a holiday tournament. With the win, the Mustangs only trail top-ranked Garfield (9-0, 10-3) in the division standings. Redmond has a very difficult league schedule remaining with games against the Knights, who beat the Mustangs, 45-44, earlier in the season and a marquee matchup against the Bulldogs at home on Friday, Feb. 6.
“We know it’s only going to get tougher,” Larson said. “Our whole goal from day one is to try and get better every game, and we know the toughest is yet to come.”
REDMOND GIRLS FALL IN THE FOURTH
The Redmond girls’ team was unable to fend off Issaquah as the Eagles stung the Mustangs with a 57-50 loss in 4A Kingco Crest Division game Friday night at home.
Courtney Martin led the Mustangs with 22 points and do-it-all point guard Alicia Valentine added 10. The loss dropped Redmond to 4-5 in division play and 7-6 overall.
The Mustangs shot out of the gate, jumping out to 20-11 lead after the first quarter. But the Eagles’ defense stiffened as Issaquah outscored the Mustangs, 24-17, in the second and third quarters and trailed only 37-35, heading into the fourth quarter.
CHARLES WRIGHT BEATS OVERLAKE
The Overlake boys’ basketball team, visiting Charles Wright Academy, lost to the Tarriers of the 1A Nisqually League, 53-43, in a nonleague game on Saturday.
The Tarrier defense clamped down on Overlake the entire game, as the Owls were limited to less than 10 points each quarter until the fourth, when they scored 18 in a comeback effort that fell short.
Overlake junior John Stolarczuk put in a season-high 14 and leading scorer Danny Poplawski adding 11.
The loss dropped Overlake to 7-6 overall while its league record remained even at 3-3.
BEAR CREEK BOYS KEEP ROLLING
The Grizzly boys’ basketball team kept up their winning ways with a 58-31 victory over King’s West in a Sea-Tac 2B matchup at home last Saturday night.
The Warriors were simply outmatched by the Grizzlies, who led 29-13 at halftime.
Jamie Meyer, who leads the league in scoring with 23.6 points per game, put in a game-high 19 while sophomore guard Lucas Peterson added 15.
The win kept Bear Creek atop the North division at 7-1 and 14-1 overall.
LADY GRIZZLIES HAVE TOUGH NIGHT
The Bear Creek girls basketball put up a glaring goose egg in the second quarter as the King’s West Warriors blasted the Grizzlies, 50-25, in a nonleague matchup last Saturday night.
King’s West, which held the Grizzlies scoreless in the second quarter, led 32-8 at the half and never looked back.
Alexis Miller led Bear Creek with 10 points, followed by Nikki Peterson with six and Megan Cheever with five.
The loss dropped the Grizzlies to 6-8 overall while their Sea-Tac 2B record remained at 2-1.
GYMNASTS NEARLY PULL OFF THE UPSET
The young and talented Mustang gymnastics team nearly pulled off an upset at Eastside Gymnastics Academy in Woodinville on Thursday as Redmond put up a solid effort against Sammamish and Eastlake.
Sammamish won the meet with 142.1 points, Eastlake was second with 140.5 and the Mustangs scored 135.4.
For Redmond, Ally Garcia finished first in the all-around with 32.5 points on the strength of winning the bars (6.4), beam (8.8) and floor (9.1) events.
Marjorie Drieu placed third in the all-around, bars and floor.