Frustration follows Eagles to Lakeside

January 5, 2010

By Dan Catchpole

Issaquah drops fifth straight game, to Lakeside Lions, 61-43

Evan Peterson (33), Issaquah junior forward, draws a blocking foul from Lakeside’s Tyler Gregg in the second quarter, for two points from the free throw line. By Greg Farrar

Evan Peterson (33), Issaquah junior forward, draws a blocking foul from Lakeside’s Tyler Gregg in the second quarter, for two points from the free throw line. By Greg Farrar

Frustration dogged the Issaquah High School boys basketball team at Lakeside School Dec. 30, as the Eagles tried to shake off a five-game losing streak.

At times, the momentum seemed to have shifted behind Issaquah, with the team moving the ball smoothly around the court and to the basket. But every time, Lakeside rallied and held the Eagles at bay to win the nonleague contest 61-43.

“We’ve been frustrated this whole season,” starter Derek Quan said. “We just need a win to end the frustration. We’re in desperation mode right now.”

The Eagles had hoped to pull off their first win since beating Mercer Island Dec. 2, but came away with another loss, dropping their record to 2-5. Lakeside improved its record to 4-4 and extended its winning streak to three games.

Lakeside was more disciplined and better able to execute its shots when Issaquah wasn’t and couldn’t.

“We just didn’t execute,” Quan said. “That’s our whole season.”

The Eagles opened the season with two wins, but has dropped five in a row since. Issaquah’s offense had trouble moving the ball into the key and to the basket, but at times did effectively move it around the perimeter. However, Lakeside’s defense forced the Eagles to take many long shots.

The Eagles have shown this season that they aren’t afraid to take the outside shot. With no starter over 6-foot, 1-inch, they often need to shoot from the perimeter. But against the Lions, they often had to take rushed shots rather than wait for a better chance.

Forward Nik Landdeck led the Eagles with 12 points.

Given their smaller size, Issaquah’s strategy is to spread the game out and look for open shots, head coach Jeff Altchech said.

But with fewer players under the basket to fight for offensive rebounds, that leaves a thin margin of error. The taller Lakeside team dominated offensive and defensive rebounds against the Eagles.

“The problem was we didn’t make very many shots,” Altchech said.

Lakeside was more methodical in its offense.

“We were being real patient on the offense,” said Lakeside senior Sten Jernudd, who led the Lions with 26 points.

Both teams were scoreless through the game’s first four minutes. At the end of the first quarter, Lakeside held a 13-8 lead. A seesaw second quarter ended with Lakeside holding onto the lead, 26-22. The Lions padded their lead slightly in the third quarter, which ended 43-33.

Issaquah opened the fourth quarter with a 3-point shot from the bottom left corner of the court, as if in recognition that time and the score were against them. The shot closed the score to 43-36.

The Eagles took off on a tear, moving the ball to the net and taking good shots. They outscored the Lions 11-2 in the fourth quarter’s first four minutes. Lakeside looked to be slowing down.

But just as quickly as Issaquah seemed to have found a new spark in the game, it lost it. The Eagles couldn’t find their way to the basket, made sloppy passes and were forced into taking bad shots.

In the last four minutes, Lakeside outscored the Eagles 16-2.

Issaquah players also started racking up more personal fouls, with Quan, a junior, fouling out with less than two minutes left in the game.

“We just need to change something,” he said after the game.

The Eagles had altered their approach against Lakeside by using a full court press defense, Altchech said.

It did initially slow down the Lions’ offense.

“It got us in the first half,” Jernudd said.

However, at times, the team didn’t challenge the Lions as they moved the ball across the court, and Lakeside was able to adjust in the second half.

“Basketball is a game of adjustment, and my guys have to be able to play on the go,” Lakeside coach Tavio Hobson said.

The Eagles need to focus on executing their plays, Altchech said.

“Hopefully, next game, we’re going to be better at execution,” he said.

They also need to fight for ground under the basket.

“We need to get a little tougher on rebounds,” he said.

Issaquah has an inexperienced team this year. Only one of its starters, Landdeck, had seen consistent play before this year as the team’s sixth man.

The team has only four seniors — and only two of them, co-captains Joe Evans and Kyle Weber, regularly start. Against Lakeside, Issaquah started Evans, juniors Quan, Landdeck and Steven Rael, and sophomore Nick Price.

Eagles snap losing streak

Issaquah snapped its losing streak Jan. 2 with a 66-61 nonleague victory against host Olympic.

Evans led the Eagles with 20 points. Landdeck added 14 points and Price had 12.

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