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Lindbergh's success no surprise to coach Robert Graham | Boys basketball
It's no surprise to Lindbergh boys basketball Robert Graham that his team is still playing.
"I felt we were going to win a lot of basketball games because these are just good kids," he said. "It is exciting, I just think it's great."
The Eagles (14-12) clinched a berth into the regional round of the 2A state tournament with a 54-31 blitzing of league rival Evergreen Feb. 16 in the district tournament. The Wolverines had topped Lindbergh twice in the regular season by a total of 11 points.
"We came out really hard against Evergreen," Graham said. "With them beating us twice already, and the games being close, I knew it would be hard for them to beat us a third time."
The Eagles left little doubt and led 27-8 at the half. After that game, Lindbergh ran into two of the state's top teams in Sumner and Clover Park. The Eagles lost both games and will now face another tough test in Squalicum (18-3) Friday at 8 p.m. at Stanwood High School.
The winner of the game advances on into the state tournament, the loser is out.
"It's not going to be an easy test for us, but it hasn't been an easy test all year," Graham said. "And we've stepped up to the challenge."
The Storm and Lindbergh have one common opponent this season, Kennedy Catholic. Squalicum topped Kennedy 64-60 Dec. 29. Lindbergh meanwhile fell to Kennedy twice during the regular season.
The Eagles strong season started at the top with senior Jimmy Keum. Keum is second in the league in scoring with 19.2 points per game. He's also second in steals (2.6) and fourth in assists (3.5). And he has a history of doing big things in the playoffs. Keum scored 49 points for the Eagles in a double-overtime playoff loss last season.
Graham, who spent the previous four seasons coaching against Lindbergh at Highline, knew exactly what he was getting in Keum.
"He brings 120 percent every game," Graham said. "He just hates to lose… and it's carried through the whole team like a disease."
Other key players have been junior Colin Malone, who is averaging 10.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game along with great defense, and senior Casey Huppe, whose experience and hard work brings a lot to the team. Huppe is averaging 7.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Graham also made mention of the great support the team has enjoyed this season from administrators to parents to the whole community rooting for them.