Eisenhower Falls 79-61 to Rare Opponent Mercer Island
Winter break in high school basketball is the equivalent of bowl season in college football. You get to see match-ups that you don't regularly get to see.
That's what Eisenhower found this past Monday night as they matched up with the legendary Mercer Island basketball program. A program that has produced the likes of NBA player Steven Hawes, and current Jazz head coach Quin Snyder.
The first thing that stood out about this match-up was the size differential. Mercer Island averaged 6-4 across the board, while Eisenhower checked in at 6-0 a piece.
"Did you see their size? Their shortest guy at one point was our tallest guy. They killed us on the boards .I had to tell our guards if you don't help us, it's going south really fast," said Eisenhower head coach Miguel Bazaldua in the post-game.
Mercer Island spread the ball around in the first quarter, as nine players checked in the scoring column. This made it 21-10 Mercer island going into the second quarter.
Ike senior guards Alex Terrazas and Efrain Araujo picked it up in the second quarter combining for 14 points. But a last second dagger three by Mercer Island's Joe Gormley made it a momentum-swinging 41-28 going into halftime.
Terrazas and Araujo tried to keep the ship floating in the third quarter, pulling within single digits. it was then a white hot Mercer Island forward Giovanni Cervantes-Rocha would take over.
Cervantes-Rocha poured in 10 points in a three minute stretch. This made the score an insurmountable 60-45 with 1:20 left in the third quarter.
As Mercer Island's lead increased to 72-52, both benches would start to empty in the fourth quarter.
For Eisenhower it was bringing in 5-9 sophomore point guard Teddy Rodriguez; for Mercer Island it was bringing in 6-7 260lb freshman David Pickles.
Alex Terrazas, who finished with 24 points, had this to say about his performance, "I was doing what I could, I wasn't trying to get mine. I wanted to keep my teammates in the flow, because that's how we were going to get out of here with a W."
Eisenhower is now 1-6 on the young season, and according to Coach Bazaldua, the biggest thing that needs to change is on defense.
"We have to play better defense regardless of who we play. We've lost in double OT, we've lost by two, we've lost by three. We were within single digits tonight and we couldn't hold it. We just need better defense."
Eisenhower will look to get things turned around quickly as despite being 1-6, they are only two games back in conference play and very much in the thick of things.
Their next two shots will be against Tacoma-based Spanaway (1-4) on Thursday, and Seattle-based Lynwood (4-2) on Friday.