REDMOND — Tough defense turned a tight game into a runaway as Issaquah rallied from a five-point second-quarter deficit to defeat Redmond 62-42 Tuesday night in a KingCo 4A boys basketball game.
“We made some mental mistakes defensively with our assignments in the first quarter, and after that we challenged them,” said Issaquah coach Jason Griffith. “After the first quarter (after which Redmond led 20-17), we held them to 22 points and stepped up to the challenge.”
The win gives the 10th-ranked Eagles (10-4, 8-1 KingCo 4A) six straight victories. Redmond, which had won five of its last six games, drops to 8-6 and 4-4.
Seniors Jake Henke and Brian Watson each scored 13 to lead Issaquah, which trailed the Mustangs 23-18 midway through the second quarter after a five-minute span when the Eagles did not hit a field goal.
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That changed when 6-foot-5 senior Addison McIrvin took a kick-out passing following a missed free throw and drained a three-pointer. That started a 12-0 Issaquah run that spurred the Eagles to a 32-27 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Griffith switched to an energetic half-court trap defense that settled into a 3-2 zone, giving Redmond’s offense few choices but to launch long-range shots, that on this night, rarely fell.
“They had a hard time getting shots after that,” Griffith said. “We wanted to give them a different look, and it gave them a lot of fits. It’s something we don’t run a lot. We just drew it up on the board, trapped at the corners, and the kids did a good job executing.”
Junior guard Ty Gibson, averaging a team-high 14.9 points per game entering Tuesday night’s game, finished with nine points, seven rebounds and four assists for Issaquah. Henke, at 6-7, had 11 rebounds, nine in the first half. Watson pulled down eight boards and had six assists. McIrvin scored nine.
Marshall Cherrington and Kevin Carpenter led Redmond with nine points each. “We lost our energy pretty early,” said Redmond senior Conrad Croshaw. “We had a bad shooting day against a good team.”
Griffith likes the trajectory his team is on.
“They just keep getting better,” he said. “They’re sharing the ball, they believe in each other and they enjoy playing with each other on the court. We’re moving in the right direction, which every team wants to be doing right now.
“We do individual shoutouts after a game, but I just told the kids that it was a good team effort. Any time you hold a team to 22 points over three quarters — and Redmond is a good basketball team — in their home gym, that’s a good compliment to our team. We’re a pretty balanced team, which makes us harder to defend.”