Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                Eastlake junior forward Yousef Elkugia drives to the hoop while being guard by Skyline’s Evan Alexander. Eastlake defeated Skyline 51-43 in overtime on Jan. 12 in Sammamish.

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography Eastlake junior forward Yousef Elkugia drives to the hoop while being guard by Skyline’s Evan Alexander. Eastlake defeated Skyline 51-43 in overtime on Jan. 12 in Sammamish.

Eastlake conquers Skyline in overtime thriller

The Eastlake Wolves boys basketball squad saw their 11-point lead against the Skyline Spartans completely evaporate in the fourth quarter.

Skyline, which trailed 37-26 after three quarters of play, outscored Eastlake 15-4 in the fourth quarter forcing an overtime session after tying the game at 41-41 at the end of regulation. Skyline sophomore forward Nigel Seda had two steals which he converted into two easy lay-ups with under four minutes to go, giving Skyline the momentum. Eastlake redeemed themselves in the four-minute overtime period, outscoring Skyline 10-2 en route to a monumental 51-43 victory in front of a packed house at Eastlake High School in Sammamish on Jan. 12. Eastlake improved their overall record to 6-7 while Skyline dropped to 9-4 overall. Eastlake’s defense, which surrendered a meager 26 points in the first three quarters, got back on track in overtime after a dismal fourth quarter.

“They made a run. They are a good team. We kept playing hard defense and right now that has to be our calling card. I was really proud of our defense. We held them down and whenever you hold a really good team like that you’re proud of your guys,” Eastlake head coach Steve Kramer said. “Skyline is a good team. Their record is reflective of how good they are.”

Eastlake junior forward Yousef Elkugia, who scored a team-high 23 points, attacked the basket relentlessly against Skyline throughout the game.

“We just kept the energy high. We knew coming into this game it was going to be a tough one. This is a big one (win),” Elkugia said. “We put forth so much effort and we knew we had to stay together.”

Elkugia’s teammates came through offensively in overtime for Eastlake. Eastlake sophomore David Parsons scored the first points of overtime with a lay-up, giving his team a 43-41 lead. Wolves’ senior Jaxon Williams scored four points in overtime to seal the victory. Williams hit a free throw with 40.3 seconds left in overtime, extending Eastlake’s led to 50-43. Kramer was thrilled to see his team triumph in a close game. Eastlake had previously lost four games during the 2017-18 season by less than five points.

“For us to finally play a close one and at the end to get it to go our way, that is going to help the kids confidence for the last seven or eight games. That is what we need because we are going to be in barn burners (close games). We’ve been in them all year so I don’t think it’s going to change now,” Kramer said with a smile.

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