Eagles scorch nets, Wolves in KingCo hoops
February 11, 2014
By Neil Pierson
For fans of the jump shot, the first half of Issaquah High School’s Feb. 5 basketball game at Eastlake was a beautiful thing to witness.
The Eagles were on fire from 3-point range, sinking seven shots, and were just as good from other parts of the court, shooting 78 percent overall in the first half. They closed the game on a similar hot streak, and wrapped up a 78-59 victory against the Wolves in Class 4A KingCo Conference girls basketball action.
Issaquah had already sewed up a home game in the first round of the KingCo tournament Feb. 12, but it added a convincing win over an Eastlake squad that has been ranked among the state’s top 10 most of the season.
“Eastlake’s the best team in our conference, period, so we knew we had to prepare hard, and these kids prepared hard this week,” Eagles coach Bob Richey said. “But the best part about it is they came out with an energy level that I just love, and they played with patience and poise.”
Issaquah (12-7 overall, 10-4 conference) had its best offensive output of the season, and senior guard Mandie Hill scored a season-high 34 points to lead the way. Mackenzie Wieburg finished with 19 points, with fellow starters Sarah Hiegel and Jozie Crisafulli adding 10 and nine, respectively.
The Eagles made 10 3-pointers in all, and closed the game on a 24-8 surge after Eastlake (14-4, 10-3) had closed to within three points midway through the fourth quarter.
Five of the Eagles’ treys came in the first quarter as they opened up a 10-0 lead and held off a late run from the Wolves to lead 19-17.
“We came out and we brought a lot of intensity in the first quarter, and it was a great game,” Hiegel said.
Hill, who had five 3-point bombs as part of her 19 first-half points, coasted in for a pair of breakaway layups late in the second quarter to rebuild Issaquah’s 10-point lead. She didn’t score in the third quarter, but had 15 points in the fourth to increase her scoring average to 18.9 points per game.
Crisafulli and Hiegel dominated the third quarter, scoring all 14 of the Eagles’ points, including three 3-pointers.
“We had a lot of girls who scored, and usually they are the ones who carry us, but it was nice having everyone chip in,” Hiegel said of Hill and Wieburg.
The Wolves trimmed their deficit to 54-51 in the fourth, but lost momentum when senior forward Maggie Douglas fouled out with three minutes to play.
Eastlake coach Sara Goldie said her team couldn’t overcome Issaquah’s hot shooting, or its own sloppy ball-handling that resulted in 22 turnovers.
“Issaquah played a great game,” Goldie said. “They played great defense, they were hot on offense and we just never could put it together.”
Marijke Vanderschaaf led Eastlake with 18 points, Douglas scored 10 of her 16 in the fourth quarter, and Ellie Woerner added 10. But the Eagles were able to keep the much taller Wolves from dominating the game under the basket.
“We worked all week on just having a great team defensive philosophy — everybody has to help everybody and sag inside the paint,” Richey said. “They have great post players …. and thank goodness they had an off night tonight.”
Hiegel said the team had the type of 32-minute focus it’ll need during the playoffs.
“I think we’re kind of hot and cold — sometimes we come out really strong, and sometimes we lack intensity,” she said. “So, I think if we can come out and bring it every game, we have a really good shot at state.”