A mere 13 days made all the difference for the Newport Knights boys basketball team against the Issaquah Eagles.
The Knights lost to the Eagles by two points (45-43) in their first matchup of the 2017-18 season on Jan. 13 in Issaquah. A change of venue resulted in a much different result for the Knights. Newport displayed intensity and passion on senior night in front of their hometown fans, cruising to a 56-38 victory on Jan. 26 at Newport High School in Factoria. Newport improved its overall record to 10-8 with the win. Issaquah dropped to 8-8 overall with the loss. Newport senior guard Elliot Thompson scored a game-high 22 points in the contest.
“We wanted that one bad. It is the best feeling in the world. It is the best feeling in basketball when you are having one of those games where you are making everything,” Thompson explained.
Newport’s ability to hit from beyond the three-point line was evident in the third quarter of play. Issaquah cut Newport’s lead to 32-25 on a Jack Powers bucket with 2:48 left in the third quarter. It was the closest the Eagles would get to the Knights for the remainder of the night. Newport closed out the third quarter with three consecutive three-pointers, extending their lead to 41-25 with eight minutes left in regulation. Issaquah senior guard Garrett White, who has been a member of the Eagles varsity team for the past three seasons, is confident his squad will rebound from the setback against Newport.
“That was a tough one tonight. They played a good game. We got to take our hats off to them. It was their senior night and they played well,” White said of Newport. “Next week we have our senior night and I know that is going to be big for us. I think thats enough motivation in itself to get ready for next week.”
White believes the Eagles battled-tested roster will finish out the 2017-18 regular season strong. The Eagles are an experienced squad with seven seniors on the roster.
“When I was a freshman and sophomore we looked up to guys like Ty Gibson (current Eastern Washington University men’s basketball player) and Jason Crandall (University of Washington men’s basketball player). It really does help a lot. We have been in these situations before where we need to bounce back from a big loss. We’ll be ready to go. There is no doubt in my mind,” White said.