Mount Si ups the ante on Union in 54-52 win


Union learned a lesson in the most painful way on Saturday.

For three quarters, the Titans touted their zone defense and wiped out shooting from Mount Si, who won its first two games of the season by 41 and 45 points, respectively.

They were on course for a win over the Wildcats, the 2020 Class 4A state champions and still one of the best teams in the state. Instead, Union struggled to stay calm when the pressure mounted.

Mount Si went a stunning 54-52, coming back from a 14-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to take its first lead in the final 30 seconds.

Miles Heide, a 6-foot-9 forward, scored the starting basket underhand before Blake Forrest stole Union’s inbound pass and made an undisputed layup, giving the Wildcats a 52-49 lead with 22 seconds to play.

“We kind of lost our temper,” Union head coach Blake Conley said. “And again, it’s because of the great pressure that Mount Si was able to exert.”

The streak was the final blow to Union’s lead, but it represented one of many moments in the final quarter that contributed to the Titans’ collapse.

Union missed three one-and-one free throws, committed four turnovers in the final quarter and following a foul on Mount Si with 51/2 minutes left, Union was given a technical note for shoving a Mount Si player.

Between the technical free throws and the ensuing Wildcats possession, it was a four-point swing that halved Union’s 46-38 lead.

“We missed three front ends of one-and-one. This is a game-changer,” Conley said. “Getting technical in a two-point game is not something we want. All those little pieces. …”

“But I also think it was something these kids had never seen before. This group hasn’t been in such a pressure situation. I just told them we had this lead against a very, very good basketball team – a team that’s going to compete for the state championship. So we showed that we’re definitely capable of beating a team (like that). If we do a few shots, don’t do a few things that we have do, but maybe we had to go through it to learn from it.

Bryson Metz, who led Union with 20 points, was intentionally fouled twice after Mount Si took a three-point lead.

On the second trip to the line with 4.2 seconds left, Metz made the first and intentionally missed the second. He grabbed his own rebound and took a deep shot into the corner over two Mount Si defenders who fell off the mark.

Josiah Baldassare and Yanni Fassillis each scored 11 goals for the Titans (3-1).

Heide and Quin Patterson scored 15 points apiece to lead Mount Si, while Forrest added 11.

MOUNT SI 54, UNION 52

MOUNT SI (3-0) – Bennett O’Connor 4, Blake Forrest 11, Blake Miller 0, Trevor Hennig 8, Jake Moore 0, Drew Hiddleson 1, Eli Spence 0, Quin Patterson 15, Cam Holliway 0, Miles Heide 15. Totals 20 (6) 8-14 54.

UNION (3-1) – Jamison Limbrick 4, Bryson Metz 20, Evan Eschels 6, Porter Hill 0, Yanni Fassillis 11, Josiah Baldassare 11. Totals 18 (4) 12-17 52.

Mount Si 9 14 9 22—54

Union 19 13 14 6—52

JV — Mount Si 44-34

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