Redmond boys bounce back, hold off Eagles: Team plays Garfield on Saturday

After Tuesday night’s brutal 60-56 loss to No. 3 Skyline, the Redmond High boys’ basketball needed a bounce-back win Wednesday against Issaquah on the Eagles’ home court. And they got it. Redmond held a 26-16 lead into halftime before the Eagles clawed their way back and eventually took the lead briefly in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs were able to come up with clutch shots down the stretch to secure a key 58-52 Kingco 4A win.

Redmond senior forward Jason Harrington goes up for two of his game-high 21 points on Wednesday night against Issaquah

Redmond senior forward Jason Harrington goes up for two of his game-high 21 points on Wednesday night against Issaquah

After Tuesday night’s brutal 60-56 loss to No. 3 Skyline, the Redmond High boys’ basketball needed a bounce-back win Wednesday against Issaquah on the Eagles’ home court.

And they got it.

Redmond held a 26-16 lead into halftime before the Eagles clawed their way back and eventually took the lead briefly in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs were able to come up with clutch shots down the stretch to secure a key 58-52 Kingco 4A win.

“What defines you is not what happens to you, but how you react to it,” said head coach Jeff Larson. “We had reason to feel sorry for ourselves, to say we were tired. I didn’t see that. I saw a group of guys that were really hungry to compete.”

 

A DEFINING MOMENT

Issaquah is one of the top scoring teams in the the league, utilizing a high-octane, senior-laden offense that has put up 76 points or more five times this season.

But the Eagles (4-5 in league, 10-5 overall) were playing their first game in almost two weeks due to what the announcers jokingly referred to as “Snowmageddon,” and as a result the team shot a dismal 0-11 in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, however, Issaquah improved its field goal shooting to 50 percent (7-14) and also started a full-court press on the Mustangs, which caught them off-guard.

With five minutes left to play, it was a whole new ball game at 40-40.

“We knew Issaquah was going to bring it,” Larson admitted. “I think the layoff may have hurt them a bit, and we expected that in the second half.”

While both teams were in the bonus, the Mustangs were able to keep the Eagles off the line and also hit pressure shots of their own.

Nursing a three-point lead with 38 seconds left, Redmond senior guard Leslie Ellis hit a huge jumper to make it a two-possession game at 55-50. After the Mustangs came up with a key stop, Kyle Sawtell hit two clutch free throws to seal the deal.

“I was struggling from the line (against Skyline) and a little bit this whole season,” said Sawtell, who transferred from King’s School in Shoreline last fall. “To knock those down and seal the game for us, it felt great.”

Jason Harrington, who shot 7-for-10 from the field and 4-for-5 from the line for a game-high 21 points, led the Mustangs with Ellis (12 points), Sawtell (11) and Conner Floan (10) also contributing.

“We had to pick it back up and get second place in Kingco,” said Harrington on the importance of Wednesday’s game. “Our whole team showed up, played great defense, hit shots when we needed to. We did everything we had to do to get the win tonight.”

 

‘THIS DARN LEAGUE’

There seems to be no easy game in 4A Kingco boys’ basketball this year, and the Mustangs’ road trip remains tough as they take on No. 6 Garfield, on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on the Bulldogs’ home floor.

“I appreciate the opportunity to go back-to-back on the road against two tough teams and face Garfield on Saturday,”  Larson said. “We want the challenge. These guys are capable.”

With four games left on their regular-season-schedule, the Mustangs (7-3 in league, 12-4 overall) are currently a half-game behind second-place Garfield (7-2, 9-5), and with a win Saturday, will leapfrog the Bulldogs.

“We figure we’ll see them again (in the postseason),” Harrington said. “It’s a real big game, since we lost to Skyline we (need to win) to be one of the two leaders in Kingco. We’ll be ready for them.”

And after watching 4A Kingco competition get better and better during his eight-year tenure at Redmond High, Larson knows that even with as talented of a team as he has this year, there are certainly no guarantees.

“Every coach is saying the same thing, ‘This darn league!’” he quipped. “There’s going to be eight teams that go to the Kingco playoffs, and I honestly believe any of the eight could be Kingco champs.”

 

To view more great action photos from the Mustangs’ game against Issaquah, visit photographer Matt Campbell’s website at http://www.sportspixs.com/rhs_basketball012512


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Redmond High’s girls swim team took third place at the 4A state meet on Nov. 13 at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. Photo courtesy of Adam Lu
Redmond swimmers shine at state meet

Redmond High’s girls swimmers notched five first-place titles and finished third in… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

t
Redmond coach, grapplers join Ascend Wrestling Academy

Redmond High wrestling coach Lantz Schwabenbauer and several local grapplers are part… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

Redmond football squad is ready to ‘Pound the Rock’
Redmond football squad is ready to ‘Pound the Rock’

Mustangs open season against Squalicum.

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices
Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols