Lakeside School extended an invitation to anyone that wished to celebrate the opening of its new athletic center on Friday.
Many showed up.
Just prior to the girls varsity game the building’s namesake, Seahawks owner Paul Allen, strode onto the Ackerley Gymnasium basketball floor. He cut the ceremonial red ribbon and officially opened the Paul G. Allen Athletic Center.
As he turned to leave, the crowd rose up in unison with a “Go Seahawks, go Seahawks” chant.
Most Read Stories
But it was the visiting O’Dea Irish who really made themselves at home in the finale of quadruple-header of basketball that began at 3:15 p.m. and finally finished (thanks in part to a double overtime boys junior varsity contest) around 11 p.m.
O’Dea bolted to an early lead, got it to double digits and, despite a career night from Lakeside sophomore Isiah Brown, held on for a 76-66 Metro League victory.
“We got it done,” O’Dea coach Al Hairston said. “This flu has been killing us. We’ve got two guys down with that, two more with injuries, and one guy is trying to play through the flu.”
The Irish (8-4 overall, 7-1 Metro) suited up just eight players. But all eight made contributions. Three O’Dea players scored in double figures, led by Jacob Lampkin’s 19 points and 15 rebounds. Quin Barnard added 18 points, include a trio of three-pointers.
Those totals didn’t come close to the performance that Brown put on in his team’s first try in their new home.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore poured in a career-high 53 points, hitting from all over the floor and doing it no matter what O’Dea tried defensively.
“It was a big night for us, opening the new gym and having all the alumni here,” Brown said. “You always want to have a good night. But you don’t ever expect that to happen.”
Brown, though, really was a one-man show offensively for the Lions (6-6, 4-4).
Brown scored all 13 of Lakeside’s points in the first quarter, then added all 16 of the Lions’ points in the third. When he buried consecutive three-pointers, the second with 1:32 to go in the third quarter, it got the Lions as close as they would get, 49-43.
O’Dea scored the final six points of the quarter and never trailed by less than seven again.
“That was unbelievable,” Hairston said of Brown. “He did everything he could to preserve their first win in the new building. We tried to double him, and he’d go around. We tried to double screen, and he’d split the screens. Then we tried zone, and he hit the open threes. We had no answer for him tonight.”
Through three quarters, O’Dea led 55-43 and Brown had 39 of his team’s 43 points.
But by himself, Brown couldn’t overcome even a depleted Irish squad.
“I’ve had some pretty good AAU nights,” Brown said of the performance. “But not in high school.”