Bothell survives Issaquah pressure, 67-64 | Boys Basketball
Zach LaVine scored 35 points and the top-ranked Cougars withstood a 13-5 finishing run by the No. 8 Eagles for a KingCo 4A victory.
Special to The Seattle Times
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ISSAQUAH — Perusing the stat sheet afterward, top-ranked Bothell looked unbeatable in many categories.
Zach LaVine had poured in 35 points and the Cougars shot 53 percent, making seven three-pointers.
But Bothell showed vulnerability against Issaquah's full-court pressure before escaping with a 67-64 KingCo 4A boys basketball victory over the No. 8 Eagles Tuesday night.
Bothell led by as many as 13, and was still ahead by 11 with 2:12 showing. The Cougars (6-0 overall, 5-0 league) didn't seal the win until Ty Gibson's desperation three-pointer for Issaquah at the buzzer fell well short.
"That was very scary at the end, and we need to get a little bit better controlling the ball," said LaVine, who sank 14 of 21 shots, including 4 of 10 three-point attempts.
"They doubled me on the inbounds. I made a couple dumb plays," he said. "I made a wrong pass and couple times I should've passed the ball to an open player. We've just got to get better working on the press and we'll be good."
Bothell's lineup includes three future Division 1 players in seniors LaVine (UCLA) and Perrion Callandret (Idaho) and junior Josh Martin, a Seattle Prep transfer who already has offers from Washington and Gonzaga.
There is clearly a target on the Cougars and LaVine.
"Every night's going to be everyone's best game," he said.
Aaron Wilks' rebound basket off a rare LaVine miss pushed Bothell's lead to 58-48 with 4:28 showing, but the Eagles (4-2, 2-2) weren't done.
Issaquah closed the game on a 13-5 burst, thanks to some backcourt steals and easy baskets. After Martin missed the front of a one-and-one, Gibson's three-pointer with 42 seconds left cut the margin to 64-60.
Callandret sank two free throws with 28.3 seconds left for a 66-60 cushion, but the Eagles' Ryan Sexton (11 points) drained a three-pointer and converted a free throw for a four-point play after being fouled with 17 seconds showing.
LaVine made the second of two foul shots with 15.1 seconds to go before Gibson's last-ditch trey.
"Every night it's the opponents' championship game," Bothell coach Ron Bollinger said. "They want to knock you off. It's kind of fun."
"We didn't execute and we didn't hit our free throws," Bollinger added. "When you miss the front end of three one-and-ones in a row, you're let a good team back in it. We're learning to play together in this environment.
"The good thing is you get to learn and you won."
Gibson led Issaquah with 18 points and four assists, and Brian Watson added 16 points.
Bothell's Martin finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Callandret finished with 12 points and three assists despite sitting with foul trouble.
Bothell's previous closest call came in last Friday's 57-49 nonleague win over Bellevue. The Cougars had won their first four games by an average of 24.5 points.