The Issaquah High Times

Varsity Boys’ Basketball Starts Season Strong with Contested Win vs. Liberty

SCANNING+THE+COURT%3A+Sophomore+Guard+Timmy+Crandall+brings+up+the+ball+and+sets+a+play+for+the+offense+to+run.
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Varsity Boys’ Basketball Starts Season Strong with Contested Win vs. Liberty

SCANNING THE COURT: Sophomore Guard Timmy Crandall brings up the ball and sets a play for the offense to run.

SCANNING THE COURT: Sophomore Guard Timmy Crandall brings up the ball and sets a play for the offense to run.

Eashan Arun

SCANNING THE COURT: Sophomore Guard Timmy Crandall brings up the ball and sets a play for the offense to run.

Eashan Arun

Eashan Arun

SCANNING THE COURT: Sophomore Guard Timmy Crandall brings up the ball and sets a play for the offense to run.

Eashan Arun, Sports Statistician

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On Tuesday, November 27th, the Varsity Boys’ Basketball team kicked off their season with their first game, facing off against the Patriots of Liberty High School. This game was the last event on a night in which three other basketball teams played their first game (Boys’ JV, Girls’ JV, and Girls’ Varsity) and marked the first day of official play for winter sports.

The Eagles came out the gate a bit sloppy, turning the ball over more than a couple times during the first quarter. The spark was lit when sophomore Danny Howe and junior Saxon Cullimore provided a flurry of points off the bench, including several three-pointers. The Eagles corrected their mistakes and were able to carry momentum going into halftime, leading by a score of 35-33. The third quarter was largely dominated by Issaquah, with senior Jonathan Lo sinking three three-pointers and sophomore Timmy Crandall providing teammates with wide open shots. The team was able to capitalize on Liberty’s turnovers, converting them into easy points. At the end of the quarter, Issaquah was able to extend their two-point lead to an eight-point lead. As the fourth quarter was underway, the Eagles took their foot off the break, and Liberty senior Jake Elfstrom put his team on his back, scoring on almost all of the Patriots’ fourth quarter possessions, or so it seemed. The Eagles grew a bit careless with the ball, throwing several risky passes and turnovers. Liberty closed the gap, as Elfstrom’s 36 tied the game at 73 a piece with three minutes remaining. A made free throw by Liberty and a bucket by Issaquah had the Eagles leading 75-74 until the Patriots were able to get a wide-open look for three, giving them a two-point lead with five seconds remaining. With one last chance to take the lead or tie, senior Jonathan Lo answered the call, drilling a contested three-pointer to give Issaquah the lead with two seconds remaining. “It was all in the moment; as soon as I shot it I knew it was going in. Seeing the crowd erupt was a great feeling,” said Lo.  Liberty had one last heave to have an attempt at a shot, and the Patriots’ inbound was intercepted by senior Asa Taylor, sealing the win for the Eagles. “Games like that where everyone has to be locked in brings us together and helps with team chemistry, knowing that we can get tough victories,” said senior Brian Yoon after the game.

This win gives Issaquah a 1-0 record under new head coach Brad Valentine. “It’s quite a bit different in Issaquah in the sense of turnout and crowd; the student section was really good last night. I’m really excited for the Issaquah community to continue to support us moving forward,” said Coach Valentine. This game capped of a night that saw Issaquah sweep Liberty in four games for four different basketball teams on Tuesday night. Your Eagles will look to carry this momentum into Friday night when they face Mercer Island.

Eashan Arun, Sports Statistician

Class of 2019, first-year-journalist, film enthusiast, avid music-listener, bread-chaser, and supporter of animal preservation. Basketball and football...

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Varsity Boys’ Basketball Starts Season Strong with Contested Win vs. Liberty