Sluggish start dooms Eagles to 62-51 loss in championship game

February 21, 2012

It wasn’t where Nick Price wanted to be.

After the Issaquah High School Eagles were only able to string together 16 points in the first half of the KingCo Conference 4A boys championship game Feb. 17 against Garfield, he was saddled with early foul trouble and was forced to the sidelines for the majority of the third quarter.

Issaquah rallied for an 18-9 run to bring the game within 10 points in the third, but the Eagles lost the contest 62-51 at Juanita High School.

“It’s always a factor when your best player gets into foul trouble, but at the same time the other kids and the younger guys stepped up,” Issaquah coach Jason Griffith said. “That’s when we went on a run. When Nick came back in, he played more like Nick.”

He credited the Bulldogs’ strength as the best offensive rebounding team in the league — a major factor as Garfield took the lead by as many as 21 points in the first half.

“We had a hard time getting into the rhythm,” he said. “We were forcing shots and we didn’t really play to our strengths, which is getting to the rim, making the extra pass and playing good defense.”

Griffith said he knew his team had the talent and dedication to end up in the championship game early on in the season.

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Liberty wrestler Hamilton Noel finishes sixth at Mat Classic

February 21, 2012

When the last chapter closed on the 2012 Mat Classic, all it said about Hamilton Noel’s performance was that the Liberty High School senior finished sixth in the 160-pound division at the Class 3A Tournament.

Not a word about his heart, of which he displayed plenty in the Tacoma Dome. Not a comma about his tears, of which there were also a few. Not a period about how he stepped on the mat weakened by an unspecified ailment that made him look almost nothing like the Noel that dominated at Regionals.

At the end, the fact that Mercer Island’s Blake Johnson, the wrestler who won 160-pound state title was the same Noel defeated at the regional finals seven days earlier, seemed to do nothing but add insult to an already injured warrior.

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Kasen Williams leads parade of 2011 best efforts from individuals, teams

December 27, 2011

Peyton Pelluer (right), Skyline High School junior linebacker, and teammate Nic Sblendorio (9), junior defensive back, combine to throw Woodinville senior running back Devin McKee to the turf during the 4A state semifinal game Nov. 26. By Greg Farrar

It was a year of state titles for Skyline High School, and the end of a career for a Spartan who always seemed to be in championship form.

When he graduated last spring, Skyline’s Kasen Williams left a legacy that might never be duplicated in the Issaquah School District. He was definitely the most dominant figure in the local sports scene in 2011.

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Skyline Spartans continue dynasty, conquer state championship

December 6, 2011

Skyline wins sixth title since 2000 with 38-7 dominance over Skyiew

Mason Gregory, Skyline High School senior wide receiver, outleaps Skyview senior defensive back David Garlington for a 35-yard touchdown catch. By Greg Farrar

TACOMA — Before heading to the field for his second 4A state championship football game as a starter, Skyline High School junior quarterback Max Browne sat in the same chair in the same locker room as he did last year.

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Skyline beats Skyview at its game

December 6, 2011

Skyview, which had rolled by 11 opponents en route to the Class 4A state title game in the Tacoma Dome, finally felt what it was like to get shut down.

“A little bit of a role reversal there, huh?” said Skyview coach Steve Kizer in an interview with The Columbian newspaper. “Looks like they (Skyline) took a page out of our book.”

Skyview was averaging 47.8 points per game. But something was different this time. On a night where the word “sky” seemed to be omnipresent — the Storm never got its offense off the ground.

“Their coverage was great today,” Skyview quarterback Kieran McDonagh said. “That (Skyline) was a real physical team.”

Skyline Spartans clinch state football championship

December 4, 2011

NEW — 9 a.m. Dec. 4, 2011

The Skyline Spartans are state champs for the fourth time in five years after beating the Skyview Storm 38-7 Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

Skyline used a strong running attack and typical air attack to take it to Skyview.

But The Spartan defense also played a huge role in the dominant effort at state. Three different defenders intercepted passes from Skyview’s Kieran McDonagh, including Jack Valencia’s 74-yard interception return for a touchdown with 34 seconds left in the game.

Junior quarterback Max Browne finished the night completing 15 of 22 pass attempts for 222 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Running back Damian Greene ran the ball 16 times for 76 yards and a touchdown. Valencia finished with 43 yards rushing and also punched through for an 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Family LB heritage safe in hands of Skyline’s Peyton Pelluer

December 2, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. Dec. 2, 2011

Back when Scott Pelluer was playing linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, he would occasionally play catch with a teammate’s son.

The teammate was quarterback Archie Manning. The son was future National Football League star quarterback Peyton Manning.

Pelluer and his wife, Kim, liked the name so much they named their youngest son after the Manning child, who became the first pick of the 1998 draft and a four-time league MVP.

As Peyton Pelluer grew up, genetics took over and he didn’t follow in Peyton Manning’s footsteps. Now a junior at Skyline High School, Peyton Pelluer is one of the top middle linebackers in the state.

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Skyline Spartans defense does in Woodinville Falcons, 26-21

November 29, 2011

Max Browne, Skyline High School junior quarterback, breaks the tackle of Woodinville senior linebacker Jacob Hollister on a keeper for nine yards to the Falcon 8-yard line as the Skyline sideline looks on during the first quarter. By Greg Farrar

Even when the Woodinville Falcons were poised for a last-minute comeback, the Skyline High School football team seemed confidant that on the field things would go its way. Read more

Skyview stands in way of Skyline’s sixth title

November 29, 2011

The Sky is definitely the limit.

Two high schools, both with “Sky” in their names, who opened the same year (1997), collide at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 for the 4A state football championship in the Tacoma Dome.

Skyline’s Spartans (10-3) will be seeking a sixth state title. The Spartans have won a state title four times in the past five years. The Tacoma Dome has been like a second home field for the Spartans, who have won nine of their last 10 games in the stadium.

Skyview (11-2), located down in Vancouver, Wash., is making its first title appearance. The closest the Storm has ever come to the finals was in 2009 when it lost to Ferris, 46-41, in the semifinals.

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Tacoma Dome is a second home for Skyline

November 25, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 25, 2011

Every time Skyline High School football coach Mat Taylor drives past the Tacoma Dome with his family, his boys, Jackson and Cole, say the same thing.

“That’s where daddy plays.”

Since Jackson was born in 2005, the Spartans have advanced to the state-title game five times. Cole, 3, has not experienced a season in which his father’s team didn’t finish indoors.

“It’s kind of what my family has grown up with,” said Taylor, who met his wife, Katie, during the school’s 2000 championship season. “Not just the success, but just being a part of Skyline football.”

The Spartans (9-3) are again heading back to the Tacoma Dome, this time to play second-ranked Woodinville (12-0) Saturday in the Class 4A semifinals at 1 p.m.

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