The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

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First “Quad Night” of 2023 Basketball Season Impresses

First “Quad Night” of 2023 Basketball Season Impresses
Dylan Shobe

The MIHS gym saw a large share of fans Friday, Dec. 15, for the first home “Quad night” of the 2023-24 basketball season that highlighted three boys and girls teams along with the MIHS Drill Team’s senior night at halftime of the varsity boys game.

Both the teams had tight games. The girls squad won 50-44 and the boys lost in an overtime nailbiter, 68-67. Kicking off the night, senior Caitlin Monahan and freshman guard Elianna Weiss accounted for half of the girls’ points and both shot for at least 40 percent (Monahan: 44 percent, Weiss: 40 percent). 

“Offensively I feel as a team that we do a good job at moving the ball and getting it to our open players, ” Monahan said. “We have lots of girls who are threats, so when we move the ball and get them the open shot our offense really gets going.”

Even though Monahan leads the team in five different stat categories, she still gets support from her teammates in other categories such as field goal percentage and assists. Weiss has the highest field goal percentage at 48 percent and junior Anna Marsh has racked up 64 assists thus far. 

In what ended up as the tighter game of the two varsity teams, the boys squad took on a talented Liberty team–one that had beaten Bellevue two weeks prior to the matchup. Similar to the girls game, a few players shined for the offense. Junior guard Will McDonald led the Islanders in points with 17, followed by 14 from both junior point guard Tristen Cruzen and senior captain Nick Mautone. 

 “I think we handle good teams very well,” senior Ryan Boyle said. “I also think that was our first test, now we know each other’s strengths.”

After outpacing Liberty in the first half, 44-33, the Islanders’ momentum shrank in the third quarter when the Patriots mustered 17 points.

“We need to come together when teams go on runs,” Boyle said. “We need to trust each other.”

At the start of the fourth quarter, the score was 56-50 in favor of Mercer Island. The atmosphere between Liberty and Mercer Island fans across the court grew feistier as the margin dwindled to a couple of points. The Patriots doubled the Islanders’ points in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime, 62-62. 

After the extra period of play, and a missed Kornblum three-pointer to win the game, Liberty proved victorious over the Islanders, 68-67.

Among the festivities of the first home “quad night” was the Mercer Island Drill Team’s senior night performance. Ceremonies for each senior took place on the court before their performance for the crowd. 

“Senior night was definitely bittersweet,” senior drill captain Jada Luu said. “I’m sad to leave this team, but I’m also ready for what’s next in life. We still have a long season ahead of us so there’s no reason to be sad yet.”

The drill team has two competitions coming up, one at Redmond High School on Jan. 20 and the following on Feb. 3 at Eastlake High School. 

“Basketball halftime is a chance to improve on showmanship… which is a big part of scoring at competitions,” Luu said. “Other than that, the dances we do at competitions and halftimes are very different.”

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