Issaquah headed to 4A semi finals after taking down top-ranked Jackson | Prep basketball news

The Eagles are headed for a fourth game with conference foe Garfield after beating a top-ranked team for the second time this year in Jackson

After waiting their entire careers, and basketball lives, to reach the Tacoma Dome, Issaquah wasn’t going to waste the opportunity.

The Eagles seized control with a 10-0 run in a back-and-forth first quarter, and used a game high 18 points from junior guard Ty Gibson to beat top-ranked Jackson 56-44 in the 4A state quarterfinals, setting a Friday date with Garfield for a spot in the state championship game.

“We’ve been working for a long time to be here, and we didn’t want to come out flat,” Gibson said. “We knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy, and we wanted to match that energy.”

The Timberwolves led 14-12 before four straight points from freshman Trevon Ary-Turner spurned an extended 17-2 Issaquah run that lasted into the second quarter and saw the margin swell to 11.

When Jackson finally pulled within two possessions in the fourth quarter, Gibson scored four straight Eagles’ points to push it back to eight.

“He’s a phenomenal player,” Griffith said of the first team All-KingCo selection. “We wanted to get him the ball and we did, and he executed.”

Gibson finished 6-11 from the floor and hit five of his eight free throws, also grabbing ten rebounds, dishing out three assists and grabbing five steals. Ary-Turner added 12 and senior Brian Watson scored nine, including a buzzer-beating three pointer to end the first quarter.

“They knew if we played our game, we would come away with a win,” Griffith said.

Part of that plan was hitting the glass, which the Eagles did to the tune of a 42-29 advantage on the night.

Senior Cory Nevin grabbed nine of those, and also had six points and two steals after being challenged by his coach during the week. His impact away from the stat line was felt as well, as he contributed to an active defensive effort that kept Jackson stars Dan Kingma and Jason Todd from exploding.

“I was so happy for him,” Griffith said. “He had a great day.”

Issaquah kept its lead at 11 at the end of the third quarter, before the Timberwolves pulled within six three times in the final frame. But the poise of a senior-laden squad once again benefited Griffith and the Eagles, as they answered each run with one of their own.

“We would get up ten or 15 and they would cut it down,” Griffith said. “It was our turn to go back on a run and we responded and did that.”

The next place Issaquah will be running is to Friday’s semi finals against Garfield, a team it has faced three times, including their only loss of the year Feb. 1 in a 65-63 win in Seattle. The Bulldogs responded to that with a 83-65 KingCo title game victory, and also won 57-52 in what was the Eagles’ first game of the season.

“They smacked us around pretty good last time,” Gibson said. “We’re pumped. We’re feeling good and feel like we can play with them.”

Griffith said while reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in more than a decade, and beating its second top-ranked foe on the year in the Tacoma Dome, his team is looking for more.

“It feels good. It feels really good,” he said. “Our kids aren’t satisfied.”

 


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