Issaquah Eagles stand tall, tested on basketball court
December 4, 2012
By John Leggett
If there is one thing even the casual observer notices right away about the Issaquah High School boys’ basketball squad, when its players come jogging out onto the hardwood for warmups, it is the fact that it looks like a basketball team.
In basketball, as in other sports, sometimes the intimidation-through-imagination factor is worth its weight in gold, but with the Eagles you don’t have to peruse a roster to easily surmise you could be outrebounded by these guys — it is clearly visible and obvious the Eagles possess great overall team height.
Coach Jason Griffith guided the Eagle hoopsters to the promised land as a crescendo to the 14-10, 2011-12 outing and is heading into his third campaign as the man at the helm for the Issaquah program.
“OK … We were one and done, because we played a tough Mount Rainier squad right off the bat,” said Griffith, allowing himself a smile, “but at least we made it.
Issaquah vs. Garfield
“I really feel like we are going be another year better, another year wiser and vastly improved,” predicted Griffith, whose squad sees the return of a trio of juniors and a sophomore to a starting lineup that has truly familiarized itself with his basketball philosophies.
“One thing about the league we are in — there are no nights off. You have to be mentally prepared night-in and night-out, and if you aren’t … well, the adversity can be telling,” Griffith said.
The Eagles look good on paper — bringing the ball up the floor will be 6-foot, 2-inch junior point guard Brian Watson, a gifted distributor and one of the top 10 leaders in assists during the 2011-12 season.
The other tandem of junior starters are 6-foot, 4-inch shooter Cory Nevin and 6-foot, 6-inch rebounding ace Jake Henke, who with a little polish should be the team’s leading rebounder this season.
Also contributing valuable minutes during the optimistic 2012-13 season will be great bench strength in sophomore guard Ty Gibson and the lanky 6-foot, 4-inch Ryan Sexton, who Griffith said has a very high release on his jumper and will be reliable as far as coming off screens well and executing charted plays.
Griffith said the talent in the KingCo 4A conference is the best he has ever seen and the competition from Garfield, Bothell, Ballard, Skyline and Roosevelt will include high-caliber Division One talent.