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Seattle Prep junior Mary Ann Santucci can do it all | 3A Girls Notebook
Santucci is the first Prep athlete to earn all-Metro honors in soccer and basketball since her mother did it in 1979.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Prep sports gear
TACOMA — Don't ask Mary Ann Santucci to choose.
Basketball or soccer? Soccer or basketball?
"I love both sports," said Santucci, a Seattle Prep junior.
And she's good at both, too, earning all-Metro first-team honors in each.
That hasn't happened at Prep in a while. Since 1979, in fact. The only other athlete to make first team in soccer and basketball was Helen Sauvage Santucci, Mary Ann's mother. She accomplished the feat three times, from 1977-79.
Mary Ann, nicknamed "Mames," is the youngest of five — she has four older brothers. She carries a 3.96 GPA and is the class president. She sings in the choir and volunteers on the weekends to help shut-in senior citizens.
Oh, she's on Seattle Prep's tennis team, too.
"I like to stay busy," she said.
Mary Ann was busy Thursday helping the fourth-ranked Panthers reach the 3A state semifinals. She put together 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in the 46-39 victory over No. 6 Kamiakin of Kennewick. She also held Courtney Nelson, the Braves' top player, scoreless in the final 11 minutes.
It has been a standout season for the third-ranked Wilson Rams.
And players wanted to dress the part for their trip to the Tacoma Dome. Senior guard Kaysha Fox made sure they did. She outfitted them in shocking-green jackets for the tournament.
"We like to stand out," senior Justina Laney said. "We're not normal."
The jackets match the bright green T-shirts coach Michelle Birge gave the team this week. On the back, the shirts have boxes checked after "League champs" and "District champs" and then a box they plan to check after "State champs."
Wilson plays Seattle Prep in the semifinals Friday.
Tall timber at Mercer Island
It's easy to see where Mercer Island twins Renae and Rachel Tessem get their height.
Renae is 6 feet 1, Rachel 5-11. Their mom, Erika, is 5-8. But their father is 7-foot John Tessem, a Bothell grad who went on to play at Washington State from 1975-80. As a senior, he helped the Cougars reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in 36 years.
John was easy to spot after Mercer Island's loss to Wilson on Thursday, but he takes little credit for the twins' basketball abilities.
"I shoot around with them in the backyard, but they've learned most of this from their coaches," he said. "They're unstoppable together."
There are more towering figures on the Mercer Island bench — assistant coach Brayden Bilbe, an MI grad, stands 6-11. He was on coach Ed Pepple teams that recorded three straight top-three finishes from 2001-03.