Issaquah Silver wins Battle of Bothell
June 23, 2009
By Christopher Huber
They didn’t have it in the bag, but going into last weekend’s Battle of Bothell, the Issaquah Silver fifth- and sixth-grade lacrosse team was confident about its chances of winning the tournament championship.
The boys, from Issaquah and Sammamish, had won it in 2008 and looked to capitalize on their experience and disciplined conditioning. They did, and after easily winning the first few rounds on the waterlogged North Creek playfields, Issaquah Silver outshot and outhustled Beaverton, Ore., in a 7-3 championship victory.
“In the early rounds, it was pretty easy, but it started getting a little harder. In the championship round, it was pretty tough,” said standout attackman Jordan Greenhall. “Beaverton, they had a couple of really strong middies that were really good.”
The annual Battle of Bothell tournament featured 62 teams from the Northwest, including dozens of local teams and some from Oregon and Canada, with players ranging from fifth to 11th grades. Parents and players gathered at the playfields June 19-21 to enjoy a weekend of lacrosse.
In the end, the teams had played 107 games combined, said tournament coordinator Stan Kosick. It was the first year Battle of Bothell had rain. “We started out real strong,” said Silver 5/6 coach Scott Johnston. “We dominated ground balls and we dominated faceoffs, which was the main thing.”
Greenhall said his team (the Flames) got out to an early 3-0 lead and bolstered it with three more before halftime. The Flames led 6-2 at the break. Sam Britt held strong in the goal, in the second half.
“Sam played really well,” Greenhall said. “He made lots of saves.”
But, as it had throughout the day June 21, the weather intervened and forced an early decision. Issaquah became the repeat Battle of Bothell 5/6 champions, winning 7-3 on account of lightning.
“It was just really fun and exciting to win again,” Greenhall said.
He scored one goal and had two assists and four ground balls in the final match. Teammate Tyler Johnston had a game-high three goals with two assists and two ground balls.
“The tournament’s a blast,” Scott Johnston said. “These kids all worked hard and they deserved it. The one thing our kids were is well-conditioned kids.”
The Issaquah High School Purple crew managed to win its way to the final, but lost 6-3 to annual powerhouse Lake Oswego, of Oregon. The game got a late start due to thunder and lightning storms.
“Part of it was we came out pretty flat and we just couldn’t finish,” said midfielder Nate Bean. “They reset well. (We) didn’t move the ball quick enough and they recovered really well.”
Although the high schoolers didn’t repeat a Battle of Bothell win in 2009, Bean said it was still nice to play in the final. Being a post-season, mostly for-fun tournament, there was less pressure to win.
“Whenever you get to the top of anything, it’s always nice. It was thrilling, but I want to call it fun,” Bean said. “I think it’s such a big deal because it’s a summer kickoff.”
The Issaquah Youth Lacrosse league fielded other teams as well, including the 7/8 purple, gold and green teams. The Eastlake and Sammamish lacrosse leagues also fielded teams.
“It’s a great tournament, I think because you get to play against other teams from Oregon and teams from around Seattle. It’s pretty fun,” eighth-grader Nick Mauzy said after the tournament. “It’s great that they can get all the teams to come down here.”
Reach Reporter Christopher Huber at 392-6434, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.