Eagles are still alive in tournament

February 24, 2010

By Bob Taylor

NEW — 12:45 p.m. Feb. 24, 2010

The Issaquah High School girls basketball team still has a pulse. In fact, the Eagles’ heart beat sounds a lot better these days.

Issaquah kept alive its hopes of earning a state tournament berth Feb. 23 with a 45-38 victory against Woodinville in a loser-out game in the 4A KingCo Conference tournament at Juanita High School.

The Eagles, 19-4, meet Eastlake,14-9, Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in another loser-out contest. However, the winner of this game advances to a playoff contest Feb. 27 against the Greater St. Helens League’s No. 1 team. The winner of the playoff earns a berth to the state tournament, which is.March 3-6 in the Tacoma Dome.

Issaquah’s chances of qualifying for the state tournament took a hit Feb. 17 when the Eagles lost to Eastlake 60-57 in the first round of the KingCo tournament.

However, the Eagles bounced back Feb. 20 with a 51-37 victory against Roosevelt. The victory set an ironic stage. Issaquah, the Crest Division champions, would meet Woodinville, the Crown Division champions, in a loser out game. Division champions are usually expected to play for a league title. However, in this case, both teams lost games last week.

Woodinville, ranked second in the state last week, was regarded as the favorite again. The Falcons had size. Woodinville also defeated Issaquah 54-47 Jan. 27 in the only other meeting between the teams this season.

But Issaquah had heart, and plenty of it. Issaquah also got a strong performance from Blaire Brady, offensively and defensively.

Brady scored a game-high 16 points and kept Ali Forde, Woodinville’s go-to person, in check for most of the game.

Issaquah led by eight points at halftime. However, Woodinville fought back in the second half and eventualy trailed by just one point. With 43 seconds left, and Issaquah up by three points,Brady sealed the game for the Eagles when she drove to the basket and was fouled by

Forde, who fouled out on the play. Brady hit both free throws as the Eagles pulled away.

Mackenzie Schiltz contributed 10 points for Issaquah.

Eastlake meanwhile stayed alive in the tournament with a 56-37 victory against Lake Washington. Alyssa Charlston 16 points and Kendra Morrison had 13 points for Eastlake.

In the boys 4A KingCo tournament, Eastlake, led by the 27 points of Michael Russo, knocked out Garfield 65-62 and Bothell edged Woodinville 46-44 in the other loser-out game.

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