Throw out the records when the Eagles clash with the Spartans

January 19, 2010

By Tim Pfarr

Nik Landdeck, Issaquah junior forward, is fouled in the first quarter, going two-for-two at the free-throw line. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School boys basketball team fell to Crest Division-leading Skyline 50-46 in a spirited battle at Bellevue College Jan. 15.

Issaquah came into the game in last place in the 4A KingCo Conference Crest division, but the rivalry proved the records were irrelevant.

“It’s a rivalry game. Somebody comes in with a nice record, somebody comes in struggling a little bit, it doesn’t matter,” Skyline head coach Jay Davis said. “We understood that, and we knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy and a lot of emotion.”

Skyline came out strong in the first half, going into halftime with a 10-point lead. Issaquah fired back, outscoring Skyline 16-9 in the third quarter.

The Eagles grabbed the lead in the final period. However, Skyline was able to fight off Issaquah and secure the win in the fourth quarter.

Eric Lemke hit one of two free throws with 2:37 left to put Issaquah ahead 46-45. Skyline led 47-46 with 51 seconds remaining.

Issaquah then took to fouling to stop the clock, sending Skyline players to the free-throw line, but Issaquah was unable to capitalize on its possessions.

Skyline’s Cory Hutsen led both teams in scoring, racking up 18 points, with 11 coming in the second half.“I didn’t do that well in the first half,” he said. “I just had to come out strong in the second half and work hard.”

Issaquah’s Nick Price wasn’t far behind Hutsen, scoring 17 points. Price was a major contributor to Issaquah’s comeback, as he scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half.

Hutsen and Skyline’s Kasen Williams also got the crowd pumped up with slam-dunks, further electrifying the game.

Issaquah head coach Jeff Altchech said he was incredibly proud of his team despite the outcome.

“I’m so proud of the way they played together, stayed together,” he said. “The emotion of the rivalry was great.”

Altchech said it was his team’s drive that allowed it to strike back in the third quarter. He also said his team varied man and zone defensive coverage, which helped in the battle against Skyline’s offense.

“We have a tendency to come out in the third quarter and not come out ready to go, and I was so proud they came out ready to go,” Altchech said. “They really played together and worked hard on defense.”

Issaquah now sits at 4-8 overall and 1-7 in conference play.

Skyline now holds a record of 10-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play.

Prior to the Jan. 15 contest, Skyline topped host Roosevelt 48-43 Jan. 12. Hutsen led the Spartans with 19 points. Connor Gacek added 13 points.

Issaquah lost to host Ballard 65-53 Jan. 12. The Eagles shot to a 13-8 first-quarter lead and held as much as a 10-point advantage in the second period.

However, the Eagles’ shooting went cold in the third quarter as Ballard charged ahead 43-37. Joe Evans had 21 points to lead the Eagles.

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