There were some tears after this season-ender.
With both the boys and girls varsity teams eliminated from the WIAA 3A State Tournament, to say it was a tough day for Mercer Island Basketball is an understatement. And the Lady Islanders, tipping off at 1 p.m., were the first to fall by losing to Auburn Mountainside, 72-57 in Marysville.
Mercer Island (17-13) in the state tournament continued, a reversal from . The Lions (22-7) had 15 fouls to Mercer Island's 24, and shot 71% from the line while the Islanders made 53.3%. Auburn Mountainside's shots from open play were also falling at 50% while Mercer Island could only manage a shooting percentage of 33.3.
Fatigue seemed to play a part in the Islander's demise, although there may have been no answer to the 5-foot-11-inch Lions post/forward Caitlin Carr (21 points) and guard Aalia Braboy (23 points). Part of the Islander game plan, according to head coach Jamie Prescott, was a focused defensive effort on the Lion guards.
Jae Shin led today's scoring with 15, followed by Kris Brackmann (14) and Hailey Gullstad with 10 points. Brackmann also pulled down 7 rebounds.
For Mercer Island's senior trio of Gullstad, Shin and Sarah Taylor—all of whom have played on the varsity team since their freshman years—the end seemed to come too soon. Before their sophomore year, no girls basketball team at Mercer Island High School had gone to state, much less won Kingco. Since then, the Lady Islanders have won Kingco twice, and played on a team that has been one of the top ten teams in the state for 3 years in a row: 2008-09 placed 8th, 2009-10 placed 6th, 2010-11 tied with three other teams for 9th.
Prescott gave her first KingCo winning team (2009) keychains that read, "One for the Record books," and said a very promising team will return next fall, hoping for more records and another shot at the 3A state title.