Ty Gibson scored 14 points and helped hold the Beavers' Seth Berger to nine points in the Eagles' KingCo 4A win.
It’s difficult to remember sometimes that Issaquah guard Ty Gibson is only a sophomore.
Gibson is responsible for so much of Issaquah’s success that his dependability betrays his youth. He delivered another beyond-his-years performance in a 48-35 win against Ballard on Friday, leading the Eagles with 14 points and holding Seth Berger, the Beavers’ leading scorer to nine, six below his season average.
“He takes a lot on his shoulders,” Issaquah coach Jason Griffith said. “He handles the point, he’ll guard one of the team’s better players, he’s a leader. And he’s a sophomore. For a guy that age, for us to ask that much out of him, it’s pretty fun to watch.”
Gibson had an impressive shooting night — he made 6 of 9 attempts — but it was his defensive effort on Berger, the UMass signee, that stood out most. It was the same story for the entire Issaquah team.
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The Eagles harassed Ballard defensively and set the tone early. Issaquah (11-4, 7-3 in KingCo 4A) took a 10-2 lead four minutes into the game, in part thanks to four quick turnovers by Ballard.
Issaquah led 29-19 at halftime behind 12 points from Gibson and 11 turnovers from Ballard (10-6, 5-5).
“The first 16 minutes we executed better than we have all season,” Griffith said.
Ballard coach Billy Rodgers had the opposite reaction. The Beavers never got closer than 10 in the second half. They went nearly six minutes without scoring to start the third quarter and, at one point, had more turnovers (five) than shots (three).
The Beavers’ Johnny Verduin (13.3 per game) was held to two points.
“It was our worst game of the year,” Rodgers said. “There just wasn’t a whole lot of good tonight.”
The win gave Issaquah a two-game lead for second place in the tight KingCo 4A Crown Division.
“We knew this was an important game coming in,” Gibson said.
And Issaquah responded accordingly. The Eagles held Ballard to just five points in the third quarter. Cory Nevin’s offensive rebound and bucket gave Issaquah a 20-point lead midway through the third.
The Eagles held Ballard to 32-percent shooting.
“They have some talented players,” Griffith said. “We knew we had to try and make them uncomfortable. Our guys stepped up to the challenge.”
Brian Watson chipped in 12 points for Issaquah.