It was the type of win that can serve as a building block to a season. Woodinville’s 48-46 win over Issaquah last Wednesday was a study in poise and grit. It featured a good opponent, grace under pressure, and an affirming end result – a Falcon victory.
“As I told the kids, we bent but we didn’t break,” Woodinville coach Kurt Melton said. “We showed some toughness and fought through some mistakes. This is something we can build on.”
Things got fun with 6:00 left in the fourth quarter. With the scored tied at 37, Woodinville’s Josiah Bush drained a three-pointer, giving the Falcons the three point lead.
With 4:30 left, Woodinville guard Cage Schenck did a crossover dribble and then buried a 17-footer. This gave Woodinville a 42-41 lead.
And then with a minute to go, Woodinville trailed Issaquah 46-44. The Falcons stepped up and held the line. Under intense pressure from the Eagle defense, Woodinville executed superb ball movement. The payoff came when Blake Glessner hit Cage Schenck in the lane for an easy basket to tie things up.
On Woodinville’s next possession, Jaden Sheffey got fouled and hit a pair of free throws. This proved the difference in the game.
With the win, Woodinville improved its record to 3-2 in Kingco 4A (4th place). Issaquah fell to 3-3.
A fired-up coach Melton spoke with much adrenaline after the game.
“While they were the bigger team, we won the loose ball battle,” Melton said. “A lot of those loose balls we got or tied up and ended up being jump balls. These are two teams with really good kids with a lot of character. When you get that, it’s a fun game to watch, isn’t it?”
Melton was asked which aspects pleased him most.
“I liked how we moved the ball tonight for most of the game,” he said. “We reversed it a lot and got different looks. Our off-the-ball movement was good. Our back cutting, our screening was good. We’re getting better... Our kids were playing with what the defense gave them. They are becoming smarter basketball players. You want to see that in your players. Now going forward, let’s make that consistent, right?”
Woodinville’s Blake Glessner was quick to praise teammate Josiah Bush.
“I feel like we played really good defense,” Glessner said. “Jo Jo our big guy, he stepped up to play their big kid who is 6’7” [Joey Jensen]. And I feel like when the pressure was on tonight, we stayed in check. It was a good win.”