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Wednesday January 9, 2013

Ballard scorches Skyline boys, 49-41 Patriots sweep rival Kangs

By Lillian O’Rorke ltucker@ The Skyline boys basketball team came out ready to start the new year off with a victory Jan. 4 in its first league game following winter break. But Ballard thwarted their plans, running away with a fourth quarter win, 49-41. “I thought we had it in the bag,” said junior guard Jonah Eastern, who led the Skyline Spartans with 23 points. “We came out mentally ready. We wanted it. And we know how to win; we just don’t know how to finish, and that’s something we’ve got to learn.” After grabbing a 9-3 lead during the first five minutes of the game, the Spartans maintained their distance to finish out the first quarter with a score of 11-6. The Ballard Beavers quickly answered back in the second quarter with a three-point field goal to start things off, followed by a successful performance at the foul line to tie the game at 11-11. Eastern netted a jump shot and the fight was on. The two teams battled basket-for-basket. With three minutes left in the first half, a three-pointer gave the Beavers their first taste of victory with a 16-15 lead. The Spartans countered with Eastern drawing the attention of two Ballard defenders on himself before passing the ball to Bryan Starnes, who fired it in from behind the three-point line. Despite a free throw by the Beavers in the final minute of the quarter that tied the score, the Spartans pulled away with a 21-18 lead after Eastern dropped in another three-pointer. The third quarter started with a bang when Skyline sophomore Matisse Thybulle stole the ball and put two on the board with dunk. “It was fun,” Thybulle said. “I wasn’t expecting it myself really. Kind of like, the game takes over, and you just go with the flow.” His dunk put the Spartans in line for a 9-3 run,

By Christina Corrales-Toy


Skyline junior Blake O’Brien works his way around Ballard’s defense in the Jan. 4 KingCo 4A game.

UP NEXT Skyline vs. Garfield 47:30 p.m. Jan. 12 4Skyline High School 41122 228th Ave. S.E.

which included another three-pointer by Eastern. Skyline had the lead at 30-21 until the four-minute mark when Ballard kicked off its comeback with its own three-pointer. The Beavers closed in on the Spartans until finally, in the last second of the third quarter Ballard’s Seth Berger dunked to grab the lead, 33-32. “I reminded them that a dunk is two points,” Skyline coach Maui Borden said. “I wanted them to commit to not looking at the scoreboard in fourth quarter. Because it seems like we play tense when we start to look at the scoreboard and worry, ‘Oh, we are only up one or only up two.’ When they can just push that aside and just play, they’re fun to watch.” The Spartans quickly took back the lead in the start of the fourth quarter after Eastern connected for a three-pointer. Skyline managed to hang on to a small lead for the first four minutes until the See SKYLINE, Page B5

Spartan girls get win with OT buzzer beater By Lillian O’Rorke ltucker@ Skyline and Ballard put on a nail-biting show Jan. 4 when the two girls team went back and forth on the court, ending the fourth quarter in a 44-44 tie. The game wasn’t decided until the final second of overtime, when Haley Smith made the game-winning shot for the Skyline Spartans to clinch the game 54-53. “We were crowd pleasers, I think, tonight. It’s hard on the coach, but it was an exciting game, it was an exciting finish,” Skyline coach Greg Bruns said. “You could just see in Ballard’s eyes that they felt that they had that game. To take it away from them in the last second, that’s tough.” The game started out in a tie with both teams finishing the first quarter with 11 points on the board. Skyline secured a 14-point lead by halftime, but they slowly lost it in the second half, as Ballard matched the Spartans missed shots with successful field goals.

“We were thinking that we were back in control and started to settle in. Third quarter went really dry for us,” Bruns said. “We shot a really low percentage. We were taking one shot and done. They were getting

UP NEXT Skyline at Eastlake 47:30 p.m. Jan. 9 4Eastlake High School 4400 228th Ave. N.E.

rebounds, and they were making shots.” The two teams finished regular play tied and went into overtime. They continued to go basket for basket until six seconds were left on the clock and Skyline was down by one. “We threw the ball to Haley Smith. The play was to get it back to Rachel [Shim],” Bruns said. “And she found a way to get to the basket and made the shot at the last second. We didn’t play our best, but those are sometimes the biggest wins for you.”

Issaquah boys rough up Roosevelt By John Leggett The Issaquah boys basketball squad reached the midway juncture in its campaign recently and was able to stay in the hunt by staving off a physical Roosevelt contingent on the road Jan. 4, winning 53-49 to escalate its KingCo 4A mark to 4-2. “I was really pleased

UP NEXT Issaquah at Newport 48 p.m. Jan. 11 4Newport High School 44333 Factoria Blvd. S.E., Bellevue

with the way our players adapted to Roosevelt’s physical style of play,”

Issaquah head coach Jason Griffith said. “In our league, you have to be able to adjust to the several different styles and looks that your opponents throw at you. They enter the games with the idea of imposing their will on you. The Roughriders aren’t any different in that they play hard and make you earn everything you get.” The Eagles coach said

that the major difference in the encounter with the Roughriders was his squad’s accuracy from the charity stripe as the game wound down and Roosevelt tried to stop the clock by sending his shooters to the stripe. The purple and gold took 14 shots from the foul line in the fourth quarter

Students returned to school after winter break on Jan. 2, but coach Omar Parker’s Liberty boys basketball team didn’t see much of a layoff during the two-week respite. In fact, the Patriots practiced on Christmas Eve and played in a tournament in Salem, Ore., just three days later. “We practiced long and hard over the entire break,” Parker said. The hard work definitely paid off for the Patriots, who soundly defeated Lake Washington, 64-44, in a Jan. 4 contest. The Patriots shot out of the gate quickly on the way to an 18-10 lead after the first quarter. Liberty went on to extend the lead by one, heading into halftime, leading, 29-20. The beginning of the second half, however, was a different story, as Lake Washington emerged from the locker room with what appeared to be a new sense of urgency. Just three minutes into the half, the Kangs cut Liberty’s lead to just one point. At that point, the Liberty coach called a timeout to refocus the team. “In the timeout, coach just said to make sure we talk on defense. We just focused back up and we got back to the fundamentals which we’ve been doing all year,” said senior Matthew Campbell, who led the team with 19 points. After the timeout, the Patriots held Lake Washington scoreless for nearly eight minutes, effectively allowing Liberty to put the game away. “Coach wanted us to really step on their throat and take this game away from them, not let them back in, and I think we feel like we played well,” said senior Robbie Thomas, who had 18 points. Liberty captured the win behind big scoring performances from both Thomas and Campbell, but it was senior leader Tynan Gilmore who made many of the baskets possible as he dished assist after assist. “Tynan is the heart of the team,” Thomas said. “He makes those little passes; he gets us

UP NEXT Liberty at Sammamish 4Girls: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11 4Boys: 8 p.m. Jan. 11 4Sammamish High School 4100 140th Ave. S.E., Bellevue all those open looks and our offense really goes through him.” Campbell agreed, adding that Gilmore was a key factor that led to his 19 points. “Tynan is a really good point guard, one of the best in the league in my opinion, and the reason why I had such a good night was because he passed me the ball down low,” he said. The Liberty coach said he was particularly proud of the team’s defensive effort, especially the eightminute stretch holding Lake Washington scoreless. “Our identity has been defense,” Parker said. “No matter what’s happening on the offensive end, we’ve really said that we can give maximum effort on the defensive end and be committed to each other down there.” Parker couldn’t name one standout player after the team’s complete effort, but he was particularly impressed with the play of his seniors and their leadership, he said. “We’ve been talking about playing together and playing for each other and playing harder than our opponent and I think for one of the first times, we really did that tonight,” he said. Liberty girls beat Lake Washington, too The Liberty girls also captured a win against Lake Washington, defeating the Kangs, 45-38. Senior Delane Agnew and junior Tara Johnson led the team in scoring with nine points each. Liberty finished the first quarter down just one point to the Kangs, but stayed tough behind a strong defense through the game. The Patriots held Lake Washington to just five and six points in the second and third quarters, respectively.

See EAGLES, Page B5

Eagles girls falls to Roosevelt by one By John Leggett It was parity Friday in KingCo 4A girls basketball Jan. 4 as Skyline visited Ballard and won a narrow 54-53 decision, while Issaquah traveled to Roosevelt and struggled against the Roughrider girls, losing 41-40 in regulation, to fall to 3-3 in league play. For Issaquah, the finish was not as memorable as Roosevelt was not very hospitable toward the Eagles. The purple and

gold’s top point getter was Aimee Brakken with 19 points. The Roughrider scoring was spread far more evenly as their starting five averaged eight points apiece. “That loss on the road to Roosevelt was caused by a combination of little things,” Issaquah coach Kathy Gibson said. “We didn’t shoot as well as we normally do, and Roosevelt was knocking down the critical shots when they had to. Additionally, there were some missed calls by the officials both ways

and our girls were sort of frustrated by that.” Issaquah started out like a house on fire in the encounter. After the first quarter of the road meeting, the scoreboard read 18-4 in favor of the Eagles. The Roughriders turned the tables on their unsuspecting guests in the second stanza though, outscoring the Eagles 14-6 to close the gap a bit and make the tally at intermission 24-18 in favor of Issaquah. Both squads scored 10 points in the third period,

UP NEXT Issaquah at Inglemoor 47:30 p.m. Jan. 9 4Inglemoor High School 415500 Simonds Road N.E., Kenmore

but a determined and stingy Roosevelt turned things up a notch in the game’s fourth frame to outduel Issaquah 13-6 and claim the close conquest to turn Issaquah team away, defeated by one.


Matthew Campbell, Liberty High School senior center, puts up two of his team-leading 19 points during the Patriots’ third quarter tear against Lake Washington on Jan. 4.

The Issaquah Press

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 •