The Issaquah Eagles boys basketball team wasn’t deterred despite trailing the Mercer Island Islanders by 14 points early in the fourth quarter.
Issaquah cut Mercer Island’s lead to six points on three separate occasions but Mercer Island made key plays down the stretch en route to a 70-57 victory against Issaquah on Nov. 30 at Mercer Island High School. Issaquah dropped to 1-1 overall with the loss. Issaquah had trouble slowing down Mercer Island 6-foot, 8-inch post player David Pickles in the paint. Pickles finished with 12 points and Islanders guard Adam Parker scored 14 points as well.
Issaquah first-year head coach Brad Valentine credited Mercer Island following the game.
“Hats off to Mercer Island. They’re a great program. Gavin Cree (Mercer Island head coach) does an amazing job with those guys. They fly around and defend really well. We knew coming in that Pickles was going to be tough and he really punished us on the boards too,” Valentine said. “It is something we can shore up though moving forward but the main thing for us right now is to continue to work on ourselves. We’re really looking forward to getting into KingCo (4A) play here soon.”
Issaquah hit seven 3-pointers against Mercer Island. Sophomore guard Timmy Crandall scored 11 points and Charlie Dietiker added eight points in the loss.
Valentine is thrilled to be leading the Eagles boys basketball program. He was the head coach at Kentlake for the past two seasons before taking the job at Issaquah.
“Everything has been great so far and it’s been a really smooth transition. I love everything about Issaquah. It is a first-class program. We’ve been a top 10 4A basketball school in the past and that is what we’re trying to get back to right now,” Valentine said.