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The IssaquahPress



Wednesday February 5, 2014


Senior guard duo rallies Issaquah girls past Skyline By Neil Pierson npierson@ Mandie Hill and Mackenzie Wieburg had been held in check most of the game, but they made their presence felt when the Issaquah Eagles reached crunch time. The senior guards — Issaquah’s leading scorers this season — combined for 46 points, 31 in the second half, as the Eagles rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the rival Skyline Spartans, 57-51, in girls basketball action Jan. 31. Issaquah (10-7 overall, 8-4 KingCo Conference) sewed up a top-two seed in the Crown Division, giving them home-court advantage for the opening round of the playoffs Feb. 12. “Really, we just needed a gut check, and we just all knew that it was Skyline and that we all had to come together,” said Wieburg, who had 20 points. “It’s all about heart.” Meanwhile, Skyline (4-8, 10-8) is clinging to the fourth and final playoff spot from the Crown, and likely needs a win against Newport on Feb. 6 or against Garfield on Feb. 7 to solidify its postseason ticket. The Spartans took a 39-35 lead to the fourth quarter, and reserve guard Alicia Shim buried a

3-pointer that gave them a 47-40 edge with 5 minutes, 19 seconds to play. But they couldn’t hang on as the 5-foot-7 Hill scored 17 of her gamehigh 26 points in the final frame. Leadership proved to be a key factor in the result, Spartans coach Greg Bruns said. “That’s kind of been the story of the year — we don’t have a senior leader like Mandie Hill,” Bruns said. “We’ve got some growing pains. We’ve got freshmen and sophomores that are running the team, and it’s been kind of a problem throughout the year.” Skyline stonewalled Hill in the first half, as she scored only four points, all on free throws. But the Eagles began to set her up as the game wore on, and she hit three 3-pointers in the second half. “My teammates, they’re just great,” Hill said. “They looked at me and they were like, ‘We’re going to get you the ball. We’re going to make sure this happens.’ “I’m just so blessed to be on a team where everyone just makes sure everyone is in a good place. And they could tell that I was kind of bummed at halftime, because I want to contribute as much as I can to this team.” Both teams appeared jittery to start the game, as turnovers defined a

back-and-forth first half. The Eagles led 11-10 after one period, but Bryn deVita and Shelby Kassuba combined for 14 first-half points as the Spartans led 24-22 at the break. Skyline’s offense gained some fluidity in the third quarter as Kassuba went to work, scoring on a variety of post moves and jump shots. The 5-10 senior wing finished with a teamhigh 19 points. However, deVita managed only one point in the second half. She finished with nine, and fouled out with 2:07 to play, her team clinging to a one-point lead. Hill stole the ball on the next possession, and was fouled on a breakaway layup. She completed the 3-point play to put Issaquah up 53-51 with 1:33 left. The Spartans committed turnovers on four straight possessions late in the game, and Hill and Wieburg hit all four of their foul shots to ice the result. Issaquah, which last reached the state tournament in 2010, could get there again, behind the outstanding performances of its star senior guards. “We had a few rough games,” Wieburg said, “but this team has so much heart, and when we buckle down and we focus, there’s See EAGLES,

By Greg FaRRAR

Mackenzie Wieburg (right), Issaquah High School senior guard, busy at both ends of the court during the fourth quarter, rejects a shot by Skyline’s Bryn deVita, as the score swung 10 points Page B5 and the Eagles won, 57-51, against the Spartans on Jan. 31.

Patriots hit a wall with pair of losses as regular season comes to a close By Christina Corrales-Toy It’s been nothing but smooth sailing this season for the 14-5 Liberty girls basketball team, but things got a little rocky just a week before the end of the season. It began with a 53-45 loss to Mercer Island on Jan. 29, and continued with a 55-36 defeat at the hands of a determined Bellevue team Jan. 31. The Islanders and the Wolverines were both teams the Patriots beat earlier in the season “Hopefully, we’ve got this rough stretch out of the way,” Liberty coach Curtis Terry said. “I’d rather get it out now than in the playoffs, when it’s do or die.” Ashlan Applegate put together an impressive game against the Islanders, matching her season high of 20 points and securing eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Mercer Island earlier in the week. The Patriots looked to bounce back when they traveled to Bellevue on Jan. 31, in what was an emotional night for the Wolverines as they celebrated their seniors’ last home game. By Christina Corrales-Toy Liberty felt good after its first Samantha Kelderman (31), Liberty High School freshman, leaps for an offensive quarter, Terry said, surging out rebound in the Patriots’ 55-36 loss to Bellevue on Jan. 31. to an early 13-11 lead. What

ON THE WEB Liberty vs. Lake Washington 47:30 p.m. Feb. 5 4Liberty High School followed, though, was nearly 12 minutes of searching, because no matter what they did, the Patriots just couldn’t find the basket. That’s right, Liberty went nearly a quarter and a half without a score, as the ball bounced off the backboard, skirted across the rim and did all it could to avoid the net. “We had a stretch where we struggled to put the ball in the basket, and that kind of affected our psyche, and it piled on and snowballed as the game went on,” Terry said. “We didn’t make shots, couldn’t get stops, it just continued on the rest of the way. It was just a tough night for us.” The senior night emotions fueled Bellevue to the dominant victory, with senior Sierra Sublett putting together her best game of the season, scoring 11 points on 5-7 shooting. “I know emotionally it was a big night for them. Senior night, they’re always amped up and ready to go,” Terry said. “Just got to take our hat off to them.”

NEWPORT OUT-TUMBLES ISSAQUAH, SKYLINE Newport won a tri-meet Jan. 30 in the Eagles’ Pat Hatmaker Gymnasium with 166.90 points. Issaquah was second with 156.25 and Skyline was third with 151.85 points. At right, Elise Bugge, Issaquah High School junior, performs a twist on her dismount from the vault. Bugge led Issaquah with 8.45 points, third-best, and was seventh in the all-around of vault, bars, beam and floor with 30.80 points. At far right, Rikki Uhrich, Skyline High School gymnast, does a flip to land on the end of the balance beam, before doing a backward somersault dismount for a third-place 8.0 points on the apparatus. She went on to lead the Spartans with second-overall 33.3 points. Photos by Greg Farrar

The Patriots didn’t see anything different from this Bellevue team they beat 50-47 Jan. 8, Terry said. The Wolverines simply executed, while the Patriots did not. “We just didn’t respond to adversity very well,” he said. Applegate again led all Liberty scorers with 9 points. Freshman Samantha Kelderman was right behind her with eight. Liberty has played well most of the season, so the late losses don’t hurt them as much, Terry said. The Patriots still have a chance to clinch the No. 2 spot in the league. “We did enough early in the season to put ourselves in position,” he said, “and it isn’t a surprise, because we work hard and have the right goals in mind.” Terry said his girls will have to focus on competing for a full game to get back to the level they were at for most of the year. “It’s going to come down to pride, passion, wanting to do it,” he said. “It’s easy when things are going good to put that extra effort in, but when your backs are against the wall, it’s how you respond to adversity. We struggled with it tonight, but we’ve got a hardnosed, tough group of girls.”