The No. 2 Titans (23-1) won their 21st straight game by beating No. 3 Issaquah 63-55 in the first round of the Class 4A state boys basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

Share story

TACOMA — Union head coach Blake Conley knew he would have to rely on big man Riley Hawken to come away with a victory on Thursday. Hawken didn’t disappoint.

The No. 2 Titans (23-1) won their 21st straight game by beating No. 3 Issaquah 63-55 in the first round of the Class 4A state boys basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

Union plays at 5:30 p.m. Friday against No. 1 Federal Way, 74-63 winners over Moses Lake. Issaquah faces Moses Lake at 10:30 a.m. in a consolation game.

Union fed Hawken relentlessly in the post from the opening tip and he scored a game-high 27 points to go with eight rebounds. He scored the first six points of the fourth to help the Titans build a cushion following three tight quarters.

Issaquah (20-6) limited star guard Micah Paulson to nine points, but that helped open things up for Hawken.

State Hoops 2015

Boys: Girls:

Hawken took full advantage of the Eagles’ defensive scheme, finishing 9 of 13 from the field, including one three-pointer, and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line.

“I have to give credit to Micah, Cole [Weatherspoon] and every guy down to the 12th man on the bench,” Hawken said.

Weatherspoon finished with nine points, all from behind the arc.

While the Titans had a clear advantage on the offensive end in the paint, Issaquah was able to remain within striking distance until the last moments. After Union took a 55-47 lead with four minutes left, Scott Kellum scored six consecutive points to narrow the deficit to one possession with 1:15 to go.

Hawken then sank two free throws, part of a perfect 10 for 10 fourth quarter for the Titans from the stripe. Union also took care of the ball in the final minutes after committing 16 turnovers up to that point.

“I knew if we would stop giving the ball away, we would get the win,” said Conley. “It’s a senior-led team with a guy in Riley who will hit his open shots and free throws, which was critical at the end”

Tanner Davis led the Eagles with 21 points. Conley praised his defense for slowing down Ty Gibson, who finished with 13 points after averaging 23.1 this season.