A mere 13 days made all the difference for the Newport Knights boys basketball team against the Issaquah Eagles.
The Knights lost to the Eagles by two points (45-43) in their first matchup of the 2017-18 season on Jan. 13 in Issaquah. A change of venue resulted in a much different result for the Knights. Newport displayed intensity and passion on senior night in front of their hometown fans, cruising to a 56-38 victory on Jan. 26 at Newport High School in Factoria. Newport improved its overall record to 10-8 with the win. Issaquah dropped to 8-8 overall with the loss. Newport senior guard Elliot Thompson, who poured in a game-high 22 points, scored his team’s first eight points of the fourth quarter against the Eagles.
“We wanted that one bad. It is the best feeling in the world. It is the best feeling in basketball when you are having one of those games where you are making everything,” Thompson explained.
Newport’s ability to hit from beyond the three-point line was evident in the third quarter of play. Issaquah cut Newport’s lead to 32-25 on a Jack Powers bucket with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
It was the closest the Eagles would get to the Knights for the remainder of the night. Newport closed out the third quarter with three consecutive three-pointers, extending their lead to 41-25 with eight minutes left in regulation. Newport’s offense was prolific but its defense showed up in droves against Issaquah. Knights’ head coach Rob Marlow was pleased with the intensity.
“The guys executed the game plan really well. They communicated and did a really good job of blocking out and maintaining the glass. Issaquah is a big team. They can really beast on the boards. I was proud of my guys for just battling on every possession,” Marlow said.
In the first minute of the opening quarter, senior center William Wixey Jr. set the tone with three consecutive offensive rebounds.
“Collectively I just thought we played with so much heart and passion. I’m proud of the way the seniors played this game together. This is the time of year to be growing our toughness and togetherness. We really showed that tonight,” Marlow said.