The Issaquah girls basketball team shot its way to a 70-53 victory over the Mount Si Wildcats on Feb. 1 at Mount Si High School.
The Eagles knew it would be hard to get to the bucket with Wildcat 6-foot-8 forward Sela Heide on the court, so they would need to shoot the ball from outside. The Eagles were up to the challenge, making 11 3-pointers to win the game and secure first place in the KingCo Crest.
Junior Cam Gibson and sophomore Keira Hanson both had 20 points to lead Issaquah past Mount Si for the second time this season. Junior Alivia Stephens had 11 points along with 10 rebounds and sophomore Shea Dillon had 10 points, including three 3-pointers.
“We worked on shooting a lot this week,” Issaquah head coach Doug Crandall said. “(Eastlake and Mount Si) keep you from getting to the bucket. You have to have shooters hit shots to win games like this.”
After a tough loss to Eastlake on Jan. 29, the Issaquah girls basketball team was hoping to bounce back against the Mount Si Wildcats on Feb. 1. After falling behind 12-3 early to the Wildcats, the Eagles knew they had to hit their shots to get back into the game. They connected on three 3-pointers to even the game up at the end of the first quarter.
“We didn’t necessarily bounce back right away, because Mount Si came out strong,” Crandall said. “I’m even more proud that in the midst of this game, we bounced back.”
Gibson said the Eagles had great ball movement, which led to some good looks offensively.
“This was a really good team win,” Gibson said. “I got really good passes and I kept shooting and they were falling tonight.”
The Eagles showed off their scoring depth, with five different players making shots from beyond the arc.
“It’s really fun to make that extra pass and see everyone knock them down,” Gibson said.
The Eagles will play the No. 2 seed from the KingCo Crown in the first game of the league tournament on Feb. 7 at Sammamish High School.
“We know what we have,” Gibson said. “We’ve had some really good wins and we’ve had some tough losses. We’re ready to surprise some people.”
Despite a solid effort, the Issaquah boys basketball team fell 71-56 to the Mount Si Wildcats on Feb. 1.
The Eagles executed well offensively, but Issaquah head coach Brad Valentine said it’s hard to win a game when you allow 71 points.
“I think we did a pretty good job of executing our stuff offensively,” Valentine said. “Mount Si the last two years is that team that keeps you up at night. They’re really good offensively and they’re really really difficult to score on. We did a pretty good job of scoring the basketball tonight. We just gave up 71 points to them.”
Junior forward Charlie Dietiker and senior guard Coben Kaveny both had 12 points and senior guard Saxon Cullimore added 11 points for the Eagles.
The Eagles kept the game close early with their 3-point shooting, but the Wildcats were able to pull ahead for a 34-24 lead at halftime. The Eagles fought their way back into the game in the second half, cutting the Wildcats’ lead to three midway through the fourth quarter. That was as close as they would get to the Wildcats, who tightened up defensively to cruise to victory.
After an up-and-down regular season with a handful of close losses, Valentine hopes the team will thrive with its back against the wall in loser-out games.
“It seems like we’ve been breaking through and then you hit another bump in the road,” Valentine said. “So hopefully, we can just catch some lightning in a bottle and maybe flip those results.”
The Eagles were without one of their key players, 6-foot-9 forward Danny Howe, in the loss to Mount Si. Valentine said injuries have been a common theme this season for the Eagles.
“We haven’t played a game all year when we’ve been healthy,” Valentine said. “If we could play a game with our full roster, that would be pretty nice. Hopefully, we get those guys back healthy and hopefully catch people by surprise.”
The boys and girls 4A KingCo league tournament will be held at Sammamish High School from Feb. 7-8.