February 24, 2015
If someone had told Issaquah High School boys basketball coach Jason Griffith that his star player, Ty Gibson, was going to score 37 points in the Class 4A KingCo Conference tournament title game, he would’ve liked the Eagles’ chances to win.
Gibson, a senior guard who was named KingCo MVP last week, did everything he could to put Issaquah into the regional playoff round, but the Eagles came up short in a 63-60 overtime loss to the Woodinville Falcons on Feb. 19 at Redmond High School.
“Ty was phenomenal today — we just didn’t get enough pieces around him,” Griffith said. “We got to the point where we were playing guys that hadn’t seen the floor all season in tight games.”
The Eagles earned a regional berth Feb. 21, blowing past Redmond, 84-54, behind Gibson’s 33 points. They move on to play the Jackson Timberwolves in a loser-out game at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at Everett Community College.
Issaquah (19-5), which won the KingCo regular-season crown, had to play the KingCo tourney without sophomore star Trevon Ary-Turner, who is out indefinitely with a broken finger on his shooting hand.
The Eagles also got into foul trouble against a physical Woodinville side, losing guard Scott Kellum and forward Jack Dellinger late in the game.
Woodinville (17-6) lost both regular-season meetings with Issaquah, but was able to exploit some matchups at the offensive end. Tony Miller had 23 points to pace the Falcons, and fellow seniors Demitri Ilias and Lance Coomar stepped up their games to add 16 and 14 points, respectively.
“We talked about the 2-3 zone being open in the middle, and that we really thrive on being able to penetrate some of those gaps and get to that short corner,” said Woodinville coach Mark Folsom, who led his program to its first KingCo tournament title.
In front of a packed house, the teams traded punches throughout the contest.
Issaquah opened up an early seven-point lead, only to see it evaporate as Woodinville hit its last three shots of the first quarter. The Eagles then went on a 13-1 run for a 24-11 edge in the second period, but Coomar scored nine points as the Falcons narrowed the gap to 29-26 at halftime.
Woodinville’s full-court pressure began taking a toll in the second half — the Eagles missed their first five field goals and trailed by seven before Gibson banked in a 3-pointer to end the third quarter.
Issaquah had a six-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons again charged back and tied it with 16 seconds left on a Jesse Davis free throw. Gibson missed a 3-point try to win the game for the Eagles.
The lead changed hands four more times in overtime, and Miller iced the result by hitting two foul shots with 2 seconds left. Gibson’s half-court heave came up short, and the Falcons stormed the court in celebration.
“Everybody in this gym was expecting Issaquah to win, and the only guys that believed that we could actually beat (them) were the 15 guys sitting in the locker room,” Folsom said.
Even though Gibson had a huge night, Folsom’s blueprint to focus on Issaquah guard Jason Crandall worked to near perfection. Crandall had 11 points, but couldn’t get his teammates going, as Kellum and Tanner Davis were the only other Eagles to score.
“Ty’s a very unselfish player, and it shows, but I thought tonight he was forced to try to make some plays because we did a good job on the other guys,” Folsom said.
Some Issaquah players have been in big-game moments — including last season’s run to the state semifinals — but others are still learning how to play in those situations, Griffith noted.
“I thought a couple of our kids, I felt like the moment may have been a little too much for them mentally at times,” he said. “I just saw some dazed looks out there that I hadn’t seen in a while.”
February 10, 2015
The Issaquah High School boys basketball team won’t finish this season with an undefeated record in conference play because of a January home loss to Skyline.
Few people wearing purple and gold will remember that, however, after Issaquah avenged the loss with a dominating, 68-35 victory at Skyline on Feb. 5.
January 6, 2015
February 25, 2014
The Issaquah High School boys basketball team had hoped things would turn out differently than 2012, when they last played for the KingCo title against Garfield.
In front of a packed gym Feb. 21 at Juanita High School, KingCo’s two top squads were set to decide the rubber match.
Unfortunately, like two years ago, it was all Garfield from the opening tip.
Garfield left little doubt about the outcome as it raced out to a double-digit lead before Issaquah was able to hit its second field goal, pulling away for an 83-65 win.