In a physical and fast-paced game, Glacier Peak, the city's newest high school, came out on top for the second-consecutive year, hanging on for a 42-34 nonconference win at Snohomish High School.
"I've coached with (Snohomish head coach) Ken (Roberts) before and he's always going to get them to play their best game and to play hard and physical," Glacier Peak coach Brian Hill said. "It's not dirty. It's just good, physical basketball. And that's what it was tonight. ? It is a fun game for both of us. We try to really make it a community thing, and not necessarily a big rival thing."
Hill coached at Snohomish under Roberts -- guiding the Panthers' sophomore team -- until he left to take over for the Grizzlies when the new school opened up. Roberts wrote a letter of recommendation for Hill.
As a thank you, Hill and Glacier Peak have beat Snohomish the past two years.
"I don't care. I'm glad for him. Nonleague games are not a big deal," Roberts said with a laugh. "If we were to play them in February I don't think you'd see me quite as nice to him."
The latest installment of the Snohomish-Glacier Peak rivalry was a battle until the final seconds. Glacier Peak had a 6-0 run to end the second quarter and led Snohomish 25-15 at halftime.
But the Panthers came out determined in the second half. With their players constantly battling to the floor for loose balls and rebounds, Snohomish fought back and got to within four points in the game's final minute.
That's when Glacier Peak's Sadie Mensing drove to the basket and made a highly-contested layup with 35 seconds to play and put the Grizzlies up by six. The basket all but sealed Glacier Peak's second win of the season.
"The big difference in the game to me was the last two minutes in the first half," Roberts said. "We had some players out with foul trouble. ? They make that run and all of a sudden it went from being a four-point game to a 10-point game. And it was like, boom. We came back a couple of times, got it back to three or four, but we never could get over those points we lost in that run."
Mensing finished with a game-high 18 points for Glacier Peak. The 5-foot, 10-inch junior guard/post created a bit of a matchup problem for the Panthers, who had their 6-foot forwards monitoring Grizzlies' posts Taylor Baird and Nicole Fausey.
"Sadie's a stud. She does everything," Hill said. "She's that one player every team wants to have. She does whatever we need. If I say, 'Sadie go play post,' she plays post. 'Sadie go be a guard,' she'll be a guard. 'Sadie go get the ball,' she'll go get the ball."
Fausey finished with 10 points and seven rebounds and Baird added eight points and five rebounds for the Grizzlies. Mensing also had five rebounds and two steals for Glacier Peak, which improved to 2-0 this season after wins against two tough opponents in Inglemoor and Snohomish.
"We kind of frontloaded our schedule," Hill said. "We played Inglemoor, who's one of the top-10 teams in the state, and we beat them. I knew Snohomish was not going to be an easy game and they were picked to finish first in the Wesco (4A) North. So I knew that wasn't going to be easy. And now we go play Bellevue on Monday, without any practice in between."
Hill said the difficult schedule was to challenge his team early. With most of last year's team that went to the 3A state tournament at the Tacoma Dome back, the Grizzlies have high hopes for the season.
"I would like to think that we're one of the better teams in the state in 3A and we want to build on what we did last year," Hill said. "We had a good team, made it to the Tacoma Dome and we're bringing a lot of girls back. I don't want to go into our league with a cupcake schedule and not know what we're doing. For us to be tested is good."
The Panthers (0-2 overall), meanwhile, find themselves winless after their first two contests. Snohomish was a victim of Marysville Pilchuck's hot shooting on Friday night and the Grizzlies' stifling defense on Saturday. Still, Roberts isn't concerned about his team, who many picked to win the Wesco 4A North league this season.
"We're 0-2. I told the girls today in our walkthrough, 'There's a good chance we're going to be 0-2 after tonight. I'm going to be real honest with you,'" Roberts said. "'The fact is, though, you can be 0-2 and still be a good basketball team. ? I'm not focused on if you're winning or losing. Really it's about improving and about getting better.' And I think we're going to be better for the way we played tonight."
Callie Harwood led the Panthers with 10 points and nine rebounds. Madison Pollock added eight points for Snohomish, which looks to get its first win when the Panthers host Shorecrest on Wednesday.
At Snohomish H.S.
Glacier Peak 13 12 7 10 -- 42
Snohomish 10 5 11 8 -- 34
Glacier Peak–Taylor Baird 8, Sadie Mensing 18, Natalie Rasmussen 2, Kaela Collins 0, Victoria Goudreau 2, Sarah Smith 0, Sawyer Manning 0, Kianna Garner 2, Paisley Johnson 0, Nicole Fausey 10. Snohomish–Ellie Otteson 6, Hannah Berntson 0, Shaylee Harwood 5, Callie Harwood 10, Madison Pollock 8, Madeline Smith 4, Bailey Armbruster 1, Tara Harms-Bush 0. 3-point goals–Otteson 2, C. Harwood 1. Records–Glacier Peak 2-0 overall. Snohomish 0-2.
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