TACOMA — Issaquah junior Ty Gibson played with a sharp purpose.
After a deflating loss to No. 1 Garfield in the final seconds of the Class 4A state semifinals on Friday, Gibson and the Eagles had to regroup for the third-place game against Todd Beamer on Saturday.
That alone can be a daunting challenge, but Gibson understood what the game was really about: Issaquah’s seniors. And by scoring a game-high 18 points, Gibson made sure he sent them out right with a 60-49 win against Beamer.
“We really didn’t want to go out on a loss,” Gibson said. “We knew that we could come out on top, and I just wanted to give our team a boost. It was for all those seniors, for all those four years of hard work. I just wanted to pay them back.”
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Gibson did that with an explosive fourth quarter. He scored 13 straight points to open the fourth and turned a three-point deficit into a 10-point lead.
Gibson’s scoring outburst came after the Eagles found out at halftime that Cory Nevin, a senior and three-year starter, wouldn’t be able to play in the second half. It only solidified Gibson’s resolve to win for Nevin and the Eagles’ seniors.
“To see him step up and put that on his shoulders was fun to watch,” Issaquah coach Jason Griffith said.
Brian Watson and Trevon Ary-Turner each added 11 points for Issaquah. Trey Burch-Manning led Beamer with 16 points, but the Titans never recovered from Gibson’s self-propelled 13-0 run in the fourth quarter.
Gibson was named first-team all-tournament while Watson and Burch-Manning were named to the second team.
“Third place is a heck of an accomplishment,” Gibson said. “It’s a big-time win for our program.”
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