While the Skyline Spartans outplayed the Issaquah Eagles throughout most of the Dec. 7 game, the score, in the end, did not reflect their dominance.
Atticus Boba, for the Spartans, dominated the first quarter with a series of 3-point field goals that gave his team a comfortable 16-4 lead to end the first quarter. Despite their best efforts to keep pace, the Eagles could not find the net.
The second quarter played similarly to the first for the Eagles. As their frustrations mounted, so did the fouls, with players pushing both Boba and Caden Culver to the ground on consecutive possessions. The Eagles improved their shooting in the second quarter but would need to reconfigure their strategy if they were going to be competitive going forward. Meanwhile, the Spartans continued to find the net for a 28-15 lead to end the half.
With a halftime break and a new aggressive strategy, the Eagles fought hard, going shot-for-shot with the Spartans, closing the gap to 34-28 midway through the third quarter. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Boba answered every field goal with a 2- or 3-pointer of his own, frustrating the Eagles into mistakes—even taking Boba out, temporarily, for a nose injury—which further widened the gap in favor of the Spartans, 39-28.
As tensions mounted toward the end of the third quarter, Leo Gorman stepped up for the Spartans with a smooth 2-point field goal. With 30 seconds remaining, the Eagles dropped a 3-point answer only to give the ball back to Gorman for a quick lay-up at the buzzer and a 45-37 Spartan advantage.
Determined to take home a victory, the Eagles saved their best for last, matching shot-for-shot with the Spartans. As both teams fought for the finish, the Spartans finally began to show cracks in the armor with fouls and turnovers. This gave the Eagles a much-needed change in momentum and an opportunity to close the gap to within three points, 62-59, for the tightest spread of the night.
With time and energy running out, both teams hit buckets on free throws, but Skyline held on just long enough to end the game with a 63-60 victory over Issaquah.
Skyline will play Newport High School at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Newport.