· SHAUN SCOTT, Issaquah Reporter Staff Writer
· Jan 12, 2016 at 12:49PM
In January of 2015 the Issaquah Eagles boys basketball team suffered an unforgettable 66-63 loss to the Skyline Spartans on their home-court in Issaquah.
Almost exactly a year later, the Eagles returned the favor on the hardwood. Issaquah utilized a strong second half, earning a 64-45 win against the Skyline Spartans on Jan. 8 at Skyline High School in Sammamish.
The Eagles went on a 13-0 run to start off the fourth quarter, extending their lead to an insurmountable 62-39 advantage to put the game away. The Eagles improved to 10-2 with the win while Skyline dropped to 4-6. Issaquah junior forward Tanner Davis, who scored 11 points in the contest, said his team’s full-court press in the second half paved the way for a win.
“We had a lot of energy coming out in the second half. We created more turnovers in our press, which was good and we were playing more under control. I think that played a big factor,” Davis said.
Skyline appeared to have the momentum despite trailing 15-14 after the first eight minutes of play. Skyline center Braden Ahlemeyer, who registered three of his game-high five blocks in the opening quarter, had the Skyline student section in a raucous frenzy much to the chagrin of the Eagles.
“Those blocks really got the crowd into it which is what we talked about not letting happen before game. To overcome that we just started playing more as a team, starting moving the ball and knocking down shots,” Davis said.
Issaquah left-handed sharpshooter Trevon Ary-Turner scored a team-high 16 points in the win. Eagles’ guard Jason Crandall also added 13 points in the victory. Crandall said last year’s loss loomed in the psyche of his team before tip-off.
“We knew that last year we lost to them. They came into our house and beat us. We knew we weren’t going to let them do that again this year,” Crandall said. “Our coaches talked a lot about having good energy. We knew there was going to be a big crowd. Everyone can have energy but the key is using it the right way by getting in the passing lanes for steals and not getting fouls.”
Davis said his team knew they would have to play with the utmost emotion in order to defeat the Spartans.
“It is always motivation when you step on the floor to play Skyline. They are our rivals and you got to bring the extra fight every single play because you know they are coming at you hard every single play,” he said. “We’re just out here playing for each other and we got the ‘W’ (win).”