Spartans get key win over dangerous Mustangs, 60-37

January 12, 2010

By Christopher Huber

Skyline’s Austin Weige (1) defends against a Redmond player Jan. 8. By Christopher Huber

Skyline’s Austin Weige (1) defends against a Redmond player Jan. 8. By Christopher Huber

The Skyline High School boys basketball team came into its matchup with Redmond confident it would win, but knowing the Mustangs could surprise them.

Redmond is better than its 2-3 league and 3-6 overall record showed going into the Jan. 8 game at Skyline, said Spartans’ senior Cory Hutsen and coach J. Jay Davis.

Skyline came off a successful winter break, having won the Sam Barlow Trail Classic in Gresham, Ore., in December. But that didn’t mean the 7-1 Spartans could take Redmond lightly.

Skyline stuck to its guns, sealing its defensive game and limiting the Mustangs’ leading scorer, sophomore forward Jason Harrington, to just nine points. The Spartans beat Redmond 60-37 to go 4-1 in 4A KingCo Conference play and remain tied with Garfield for the Crest Division lead. Skyline is 8-1 overall.

“We were definitely confident, but, I mean, Redmond’s record doesn’t show how really good they are,” Hutsen said after the game. “Redmond’s well coached and they’re always going to bring it. So, we just had to not take it lightly and work hard.”

Both teams moved the ball well offensively, but Skyline’s defense was the key to the game, a point of pride for the team, Davis said.

“I think it’s a byproduct of what we emphasize each day in practice. Not to give you a bunch of clichés, but we truly believe it’s the one constant we can bring every night to a contest,” he said. “Our players take a great deal of pride in playing defense and we feel it’s helped us win games this season against some very good offensive teams.”

Skyline came out strong down low in the first quarter. Hutsen had eight points in the first to give the Spartans a 14-6 lead into the second.

Redmond managed to score just 14 points in the first half and Skyline led by 17 at the break.

Statistically a somewhat stronger first-half team this season, Skyline slowed down a bit in the second half. It got a little sloppy on defense as the Mustang offense worked the ball to the inside a bit and made up some ground.

“We just went away from what worked for a little bit. But then we re-established,” Hutsen said. “We were getting a lot of points inside, and if we didn’t take the first shot that we got, we could get anything that we wanted.”

Hutsen finished with a game-high 20 points. Senior Austin Weige had six points and eight rebounds and senior Mikey Smith had four points and five rebounds. Bryan Cikatz finished with 12 points.

Redmond’s Andrew Squires had 11 points and Josh Bircher had eight.

The Spartans entered the game coming off a 54-53 victory Jan. 5 against visiting Lake Washington.

Skyline led that game 31-25 at halftime, but fell behind in the third quarter as Lake Washington went ahead. However, Skyline outscored Lake Washington 12-9 in the final quarter to pull out the victory.

Hutsen topped Skyline with 16 points. Kasen Williams contributed 14 points and Connor Gacek added 12.

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