Mount Rainier ends Issaquah boys basketball team’s season, 82-72

February 28, 2012

By Christina Lords

Brian Watson, Issaquah High School sophomore guard, puts up a shot for three points during the fourth quarter, as the Issaquah student section looks on decked out in costumes. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School boys basketball team had been here before.

With a trip to the Tacoma Dome and the state championship tournament on the line, the Eagles were only able to put up eight points in the first quarter against an explosive Mount Rainier team during their KingCo 4A quarterfinal match Feb 24.

The sluggish start — similar to the one Issaquah had the week before against Garfield for the KingCo championship — contributed to the 82-72 loss to the Rams.

Issaquah coach Jason Griffith said the team wasn’t able to adapt to the Rams’ offensive prowess as quickly as it would have liked.

“It’s getting used to the pressure and the speed of the game,” he said. “We came out slow against Garfield. The same thing happened here. Adjusting to that type of pressure isn’t a place where we did well tonight.”

The Eagles ended the season with a 14-10 record.

Issaquah’s leading scorer of the game, junior Ryan Sexton, contributed 14 points, while freshman Ty Gibson added 13 points for the team.

Senior Nick Price, Issaquah’s top scorer, shot only one for 15 for the night and scored two points for the Eagles.

After trailing 56-47 at halftime, the Eagles brought the game within five points late in the third quarter, but couldn’t develop an effective way to stop Mount Rainier’s established offensive rhythm.

Adrian Davis scored a game-high 20 points for the Rams, with four other Mount Rainier players scoring in the double-digits.

“We knew coming into it that we had to make plays,” Griffith said. “They challenge you to make plays in open court. They challenge you to make reads off the double team. I thought for a while we did that in spurts, and we did a good job of it. But they’re capable of going on a 10-0 run.”

Griffith said while the team may be disappointed with the game’s outcome, he’s proud of the Eagles’ successes throughout the season.

“We’re proud of this group of seniors, they’re a great group to coach,” he said. “They left such a good mark on our program, and I know they’ll be disappointed in the locker room, but overall they can’t hang their heads too much.”

Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239, or newcastle@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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