Issaquah girls basketball team nets 57-47 win over Newport

December 13, 2011

By Christina Lords

Taryn Holmes (15), Issaquah High School senior guard, is defended by Newport High School senior wing Chanel Dotson during the first quarter Dec. 9, in a game won 57-47 by the Eagles. By Greg Farrar

As Issaquah High School’s leading scorer, averaging 14.7 points per game, sophomore point guard Mandie Hill knows the importance of a shored-up offense.

But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t recognize when her basketball team, which is 4-2 for the season, still has improvements to make on the other end of the court.

“We realize we need to play as a team,” Hill said. “We’re really focused on defense. Our offense … we’re getting it. But our defense, we’re really close to the help position, we’re so close that it ends up being a foul. We just have to work harder there, but we’re going to be good contenders.”

Hill, who had a season-high 23 points in Issaquah’s 57-47 KingCo Conference 4A win over the visiting Newport Knights on Dec. 9, said the team, which has only three seniors, is starting to come into its own.

“Our chemistry is getting there,” she said. “We’re a young team, I’m new here… and everyone has been so great. We love each other, we’re like sisters.”

Issaquah coach Kathy Gibson agreed that continued improvement defensively will be the key to the team’s success as it looks forward to conference play.

Turnovers, including 12 in the first half, created too many opportunities for Newport, she said. Issaquah had a comfortable 32-25 lead at the half and never trailed in the game.

“I thought we played the game in spurts,” Gibson said. “When we were playing well, we were playing good defense, we took care of the ball and we took good shots. We’re young, so there were also some times when those things weren’t happening in our favor.”

Sophomore guard Mackenzie Wieburg and junior guard Aimee Brakken contributed 10 and 8 points, respectively.

“We just have to be more consistent and play with a little more poise,” Gibson said. “It was a good effort, and they’re working hard. We’ve just got to channel that energy.”

Issaquah opened league play Dec. 7 with a tough 59-53 loss to host Woodinville. Issaquah, which trailed by 15 points in the third quarter, made a valiant charge in the fourth quarter but came up short. Hill had 15 points to lead all players. Brakken added 13 points.

The Eagles will hit the road for several away games this month. They play against the Eastlake Wolves at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16, against the Inglemoor Vikings at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20 and against the Juanita Rebels at 6:45 p.m. Dec. 21.

Eagles top Timberline

Wieburg pumped in 15 points and Hill contributed 14 points Dec. 10 as Issaquah defeated Timberline, 53-43, in the Les Schwab Preview at Highline Community College.

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