No. 3 Skyline boys basketball team edges Bothell in OT, 65-61

February 7, 2012

By Matt Massey

There was a time not so long ago when Lucas Shannon’s Skyline High School basketball coaches almost forbid him from shooting.

Once known as a defensive stopper only, Shannon has ratcheted up his offensive game.

The 6-foot-7 senior had a career-high 27 points, including six in overtime, and added 13 rebounds as third-ranked Skyline beat visiting Bothell, 65-61, Feb. 3 in a KingCo Conference 4A boys basketball game.

“It’s been a long journey here from sixth or seventh grade, when I wasn’t supposed to shoot the ball much,” said Shannon, who will play at Saint Martin’s next year.

“It used to be just, ‘Get the board, and don’t dribble, don’t shoot.’ I’ve always been the defensive stopper, and been really intense on defense,” he said. “I’ve tried to carry that intensity over to the offensive end. On offense, I used to be hesitant.”

Shannon also played the hero late in the game, sinking a pair of free throws with 10.1 seconds left in regulation to force the extra period on Senior Night. He drew the foul by driving aggressively to the basket.

Bothell’s Zach LaVine, one of the top junior recruits in the state, misfired at the buzzer on a 3-point attempt that would have won it in regulation.

“I don’t think there’s a weak team in our conference,” Shannon said. “We’re in a tough game every week. We’re not a team that blows people out and beats them by 30. We understand how to stay the course, and not get up and down.”

The Crest Division champion Spartans (18-3, 13-1) posted the best regular-season record in school history.

The wild victory was Skyline’s 10th in a row. The Spartans won despite blowing a 12-point, second-half lead and playing without point guard Will Parker in the fourth quarter because of foul trouble.

“We had a lot of emotion because it was Senior Night,” Shannon said. “Then, our point guard, Will Parker, gets in foul trouble. It was a tough situation to put our young guards in without Will.

“When he came back in with about two minutes, 30 seconds left, it kind of brought a calm back with our team,” Shannon said. “That really helped.”

LaVine led the Cougars (12-7, 8-6) with 25 points. The talented 6-foot-3 junior scored 18 points over the final 6:24 of regulation and four minutes of overtime, including 10 in the final 6:24 of regulation.

The Cougars went on a 20-4 flurry with Parker sitting, using full-court pressure to turn a 47-35 fourth-quarter hole into a 53-51 lead. LaVine scored on a breakaway layin after a steal, was fouled and completed the 3-point play for the two-point lead with 1:35 to go in regulation.

The game — and LaVine — drew the presence of University of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar.

“There should be 30 college coaches here,” said Skyline coach J. Jay Davis. “I don’t care what their schedule is. That kid is special.”

Bothell’s Perrion “Callandret is D-1 too,” he added. “That’s a very difficult backcourt to match up against, especially with them being 6-3 and 6-2 and us being diminutive.”

Skyline played without starter Bryan Cikatz (10 points per game), who bruised his hip against Eastlake in the team’s previous game.

Freshman Matisse Thybulle came into the game in overtime and immediately made an impact, drilling an 18-footer from the left corner for a 55-53 Skyline lead just 14 seconds into the extra session.

Parker, one of six seniors honored before their final home game, tallied 14 points. Callendret scored 12 for Bothell.

The Spartans and Bothell were scheduled to meet again Feb. 7 at Skyline in the opening round of the KingCo 4A tournament.

Skyline tops Eastlake

Nick Kassuba scored a game-high 20 points Feb. 1 as Skyline downed rival Eastlake, 66-47.

Skyline got a tough battle from Eastlake in the first half. The teams were knotted at 33-all at halftime. The Spartans broke open the game in the third quarter by outscoring Eastlake, 15-5.

Parker contributed 15 points and Shannon added 12 points for the Spartans.

Brandon Lester topped Eastlake with 14 points.

On Jan. 31, Skyline rallied in the second half to beat visiting Issaquah, 46-39. Shannon scored 16 points to share game-high honors with Issaquah’s Nick Price.

Issaquah led 21-16 at halftime, but Skyline overcame the Eagles in the third quarter by outscoring them 16-5.

Eagles claim third

Issaquah claimed third place in the Crest Division Feb. 4, when the Eagles defeated host Newport, 80-73. The Eagles pulled away in the final quarter by outscoring Newport 30-24.

Ty Gibson scored a career-high and season-high 23 points to lead the Eagles. Price added 22 points. Ryan Sexton contributed 11 points and Cory Nevin 10 points for the Eagles, who finished league play with a 6-8 record.

Issaquah, 12-8 overall, was scheduled to play at Roosevelt Feb. 7 in the opening round of the KingCo 4A Tournament.

On Feb. 2, the Eagles lost to visiting Ballard, 67-65. Price, in his final home game, scored 27 points. Fletcher Martin, another senior, added 11 points.

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