Newspaper Archive of
Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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January 14, 1998     Mercer Island Reporter
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January 14, 1998
 

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has; SPORTS Islanders block Bellevue’s path in 74—50 trouncing By Ethan Fowler Mercer Island Reporter The 3-point basket is one of the most lethal and risky shots in basketball. If they’re good, 3-pointers can quickly bring a team back from a large deficit, or they can easily expand an al— ready large lead. However, failed 3—point attempts can also cause a team to fall farther behind and out of its set of— fense. This is what happened last Tuesday night, Jan. 6, in the Mercer Island High School boys basketball team’s 74—50 home victory over Bellevue. But because the Islanders are strongly coached by longtime coach Ed Pepple to spread the ball around on offense, when they don’t do this Mercer Island’s offense often sputters. Pepple’s spread offense didn’t occur early on against the 9-4 Wolverines, who came into the season with a five— year record of 27-73. After Elliott Prasse—Freeman nailed two straight 3—p0int— ers without allowing any of his teammates to touch the ‘It was a good game to come out against a good team like Bellevue and turn on the juice.’ —— Nate Sebree guard out the game when he was unsuccessful on his third attempt. Pepple then saw Prasse-Freeman’s replacement, se— nior Beau Nobrnann, pull the same trick later to close out the quarter much to his chagrin. “I prefer they hit (ii-pointers) in the confines of the of— fense," Pepple said. “If we hit them without a lot of guys touching the ball that’s not our offense. That’s just not our style; consequently, we didn’t have any rebounds and we had a lot of guys standing around. We have to exercise some patience. You can’t keeping taking the quick shot because eventually that will catch up to you.” And that’s exactly what Bellevue (4—1 in Kingco 3A) did Wednesday, January 14, 1998 in the second quarter. The Wolverines, guided by first— year coach, Jeremy Eggers, rallied from an early 18-4 first quarter deficit to pull within 27—20 with a 9—0 run. Bellevue capitalized on the fact that the Islanders started the sec— ond period by missing their first six shots. But that was as close as the longtime rivals would come, though as Mercer Island (5-0, 11—1) would outscore them 13-5 the rest of the second quarter and 18-10 in the third period to take a commanding 59-35 lead going into the final frame. The Islanders’ primary weapon during the comeback? The 3-pointer. Mercer Island finished the game 9—of—l3 from long range as Tyler Besecker, Prasse-Freeman, Nobmann and Nate Sebree all hit a pair of 3-pointers, while Matt Logic bombed in the other. Besecker further demonstrated what kind of night the Islanders were truly having with the 3-pointer when he hit all three free throws when Bellevue fouled him on a 3—point attempt in the second quarter. “Our team’s like that; every now and then we get like that —— where we’re just hot,” said senior Sebree, who scored eight points, had three rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot in only 11 minutes of action. “A good team will make the runs when they need them and that’s what we did,” Sebree said. “They played pret— ty tough inside and on defense, but we did a good job re- versing the ball and getting people open. . . It was a good game to come out against a good team like Bellevue and turn on thejuice.” Besecker led the Islanders’ offense with 15 points and seven rebounds. Josh Fisher also had a strong night, scor— ing eight of his 14 points in the second half, while Prasse— Freeman rounded out the talented MI junior trio with 12 points, six boards and four steals. ball in the first quarter, Pepple quickly pulled his starjunior Matt Brashears/Mercer Island Reporter In the midst of a second—quarter 9—0 Bellevue run, junior Elliott Prasse—Freeman yells with frustration at his teammates while setting up an offense. Swimmers stretch win s By Ethan Fowler Mercer Island Reporter Matt Brashcars/Mercer Island Reporter Senior Nate Sebree blocks Bellevue forward R.C. Carr’s attempt at a lay—up in the third quarter. In only I 1 minutes of play, Sebree tallied eight points, three rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot. eak to orable meet for Mercer Island, but his wasn’t as joyous as Smith’s. Bannon found himself sprawled on the deck of Mary Wayte pool from exhaustion after he fin- ished swimming the opening leg of the meet—end- ing 400 free relay. Bannon had just finished corn— peting in three of the final four varsity events and had recently returned from a very good vacation in Mexico. “I wanted a story, just not like this,” said Bannon, who needed help from teammate Ed Averett to get up off the deck. “I’ve never been so sore after a meet Over the winter break, I went to Mexico and ate too much and did too much celebrating and I’m paying for it now. I wanted to get my name in the paper, but . . . I think I’m going to be laughing about this one (later).” Please see Boys hoops on B3 To the surprise of many of his teammates, Smith clocked the fourth fastest time in the’500 free for the team this year as he touched in third—place with a 5:20.80. Guyman won the race with an All- American consideration time of 4:41.95 to lap run— ner—up freshman Paul Fahey of Interlake. “I’m not taking steroids for one thing," Smith said jok— ineg after the 500 free race. “In the spring, I went to two practices a day and in the surn— mer l was in the water a lot and it’s paying off. A lot of it is luck, but a lot of it is hard work. I’d be amazed ifI saw (my improvement) happening to someone else." His coach, Frank Ceteznik, ercer Island High School swimmer Danny “Horace” Smith watched teammates Jeff Guyman and Timmy Chung pull off the difficult feat of getting state qualifying times in all eight individual events last year. Knowing he wasn’t capable of pulling off the eight for state feat, Smith decided to set his sights at a more reasonable and attainable goal this year. His target —— to get disuict times in all eight events. His ambition wasn’t going to be easy, consid— ering the junior had only taken up year—round swimming last spring for Bellevue Club. Undaunted by the fact that he had qualified in only two of the eight races (the IOU-yard butterfly, 100 freestyle), Smith set out to take on two of the most difficult r Exhausted af— Danny Smlth l r r . ter swimming three events back—to—back in Thursday’s meet against Interlake at Mary Wayte Pool, senior Brett Bannon lies at the feet of a timer. Matt Brashears/ Mercer Island Reporter races in the circuit —— the 200 free and the 500 free —— neither of which he had ever swum be- fore. Smith achieved his goal on Thursday as he led the Islanders to their 16th straight dual meet vic- tory when they swamped the seven-member team of Interlake 137-37 at Mary Wayte Pool. Early on, Smith’s chances of completing half of the eight individual events looked very promis- ing. After Smith led a 1—2-3 Mercer Island sweep in the 200 free with a season—best time of 1 minute, 56.05 seconds, his ability to get the 500 free dis— trict time appeared fairly attainable. has nothing but for Smith, who was nicknamed “Horace” by his water polo teammates two years ago when he showed up to the first practice wear- ing protective eyewear similar to NBA player Horace Grant of the Orlando Magic. “I’m impressed with his hard work and his times have been a result of that hard work,” Ceteznik said. “He’s improved a lot from last year. He’s probably the most improved at this point. I’m hap- py that he’s seeing such good results after he’s worked so hard; that’s what you like to see when a kid really puts in the effort.” Senior teammate Brett Bannon also had a mem- State champs showcase skills at MI’s expense Gymnastics team inspired after Israel’s injury By Ethan Fowler Mercer Island Reporter For the second time in only four meets, coach Lenny Lewis has lost a gymnast to a season-ending in- jury —— something he has never had to face in his eight years as head coach for the Mercer Island High School team. At first, the injury to freshman Sarah Israel in the Islanders’ 175.15- 139.8 loss to Newport didn’t ap— pear that serio'tis. Then everyone nearby heard Israel’s wrist and fore- arm pop loudly when her hand grips locked on the lower bar while her body continued forward as she per- formed on the uneven bars. It took nearly a minute to pry her off,the bar to ice her arm before she was rushed to Eastside Group Health Hospital. “1 could just tell (it was bad),” said Israel, who was fitted with a shoulder-length cast that will be re- placed in two w e e k s b y a smaller cast for two months. “It’s happened before but never hurt that much. My g rip j u st g o t stuck. It wasn’t scary until I saw a bump in my arm. It didn’t hurt at all, but it was annoying because I couldn’t finish and I really wanted to do well in that meet.” The loss was a significant one for Mercer Island as Israel was av- eraging a 7.0 on the bars this season, second—best on the team. Senior Sarah Israel I I-*AA-A Lindsey Sayles was the first Islander out for the season after she frac- tured a vertebra and slipped a disc in the season-opening meet at Bothell. They also nearly lost fresh- man Sarah Mundahl when she broke her right foot last month, but she returned early and competed on Thursday. “She was doing a free hip on the lower bar," Lewis said of Israel’s accident. “Her grip wrapped around the bar and her grip got stuck, so she couldn’t move her hand but her body moved and she broke her arm. We tried to make adjustments for her and that was happening with her old grips, so she got new grips. “Sarah was one of our best bars people,” Lewis said. “Sarah was getting her front hamspring and floor and was coming around real— ly well. It’s a terrible loss. It’s re- ally going to hurt the team. I just can’t figure out all these injuries this year. I’m one of the most care— ful coaches and we’ve had three major injuries. It’s like injuries fol— low me like a bad omen.” APART FROM Israel’s injury, though,_the meet was an enjoyable showcase that demonstrated why Newport gymnasts have been able to capture the state title three of the past four years. The Knights’ gym- nasts put on a clinic as they daz- zled the relatively large crowd by pulling off amazing stunts, routines and maneuvers throughout the night. In no other event was this clear- er than their first event, the uneven bars. Each Newport gymnast whipped her body high into the air with reckless abandon, often ending her routine with a flip or half twist to set up solid dismounts. Senior Jamie Relf, who finished, fourth in the state—around compe- Please see Gymnasts on B2 the floor during her floor routine in Thursday’s home meet against Newport. t Bashers/Miarce sndther Sophomore Kristin Fersch leaps high off FOR THE SECOND dual meet in a row, Mercer Island faced an unusually small lineup, which forced Ceteznik to keep some of his best swimmers to only one individual event and one relay. Guyman, Chung, Spencer Driscoll and Chris Martinez all swam on the Islanders’ winning 200 medley relay that clocked a season—best 1:41.88. But the four standout swimmers, who usually swim in two relays and two individual events, impact was limited in the meet because of the amazingly small turnout of Saint swimmers. Please see Swimming on B2 myJanth ‘Qirishasketballvs; ‘Liberty‘tJV precedes) , m. Wrestling atLiberry (IV a. nemesis-x, diagrams“, ,‘ ‘fl‘vtfiainbfiaga