The Islanders rode their top three scorers to another conference victory, beating Liberty 75-59 in Renton on Tuesday night.
Mercer Island (6-0, KingCo 4-0) co-captain Nick Nordale led all scorers with 24, hitting 5 of 7 from behind the arc, while Islanders big man Joe Rasmussen dominated the boards and added 20 points. Kaleb Warner added 15 showing off his strong mid-range game.
Liberty was led by their big man, Mathew Campbell who scored 18 points playing hard on both ends of the floor. LHS’s guards shot the ball well with Tynan Gilmore and Dayton Mackay adding 14 and 11 points respectively.
The game was back and forth with both teams committing more than their usual amount of turnovers. Will Taylor came off the bench to score 6 and Max Tilden contributed 4, scoring a key bucket to end the third quarter. Espen Platou scored 4 and was a force inside on defense. Daniel Sims knocked down a critical three late in the fourth to ice the game, capping a strong performance at point. Jake Shaddle scored 2 in additional to distributing the ball and running the offense.
“We didn't play our best basketball tonight, but we were able to gut out a tough road victory against a well-coached Liberty squad," said Islanders Coach Gavin Cree said. "I was not surprised at all that (Liberty) gave us a tough game."
Cree also credited Liberty's new coach, Omar Parker, whom he called an "Islander legend". Parker played for Mercer Island in 1985-86 and coached under Coach Pepple for several different stints, and was involved in 3 of our 4 state championships, one as a player (1985) and two as a coach (1993 and 1999). He coached at the college level as well for WSU, Boise St. and Missouri.
"He is a great basketball mind,” Cree said.
The Islanders next play this Friday at Interlake at 8PM.