The Lindbergh Eagle boys basketball team lost to the Highline Pirates 55-51 on Jan. 9. The two teams have now split the season series, with Lindbergh winning earlier in the season.
“We’re just learning … I’m really not trying to pressurize these moments, I am trying to teach through them,” said Lindbergh first-year head coach Tyreese Breshers.
Lindbergh dropped down fourth place in the KingCo standings and currently has a 4-8 record and is 3-4 in league play. The Eagles had just ended a five game losing streak last week with a win over Evergreen (56-46), but narrowly lost their most recent matchup against the Pirates.
The game started off poorly for the Eagles; Highline scored on each of their first seven possessions. That run ended when Lindbergh sophomore guard John Choul drew a charge for the Eagles, granting them possession. The first quarter ended with Lindbergh trailing 12-21.
The second quarter was more of the same, the Eagles just were struggling to slow the Pirates down. By the end of the first half, Highline extended the lead to 13, leading the Eagles 35-22.
The change and adjustments came in full force for the Eagles in the second half, and that adjustment was feeding the 6-foot-4 freshman James Huff.
“He doesn’t even know his potential yet, he has a really high ceiling … He is going to be one of the better players in this league in the near future,” Breshers said about the young freshman.
Huff had 10 first-half points, eight in the second quarter. Huff added 11 in the second half. The freshman big man is partnered well with John Choul who excels at passing.
In the third quarter, Lindbergh got as close to Highline as it had all game, cutting the lead to six with 34-40. But Highline ended the quarter with a run extending the lead to nine, 47-36.
The final period was the most competitive of the contest. At one point the Eagles cut the lead back down to six after a clutch three from Sophomore Malik Gilbert with just under three minutes it seemed like Lindbergh was within striking distance.
Highline was able to sustain the lead keeping just enough distance from the Eagles. Gabriel Thomas and Huff played really well for Lindbergh down the stretch. The comeback ran out of gas with 23.3 seconds left, with the score 51-54.
On a loose ball, Choul went into a full dive to try and get the Eagles possession with 23.3 seconds left. In the process, he ended his night with a knee injury. Once he exited the game under assistance from John Geise, the trainer, the team struggled to possess, pass, and control the ball in Chouls’ absence. Lindbergh wouldn’t put up any more points in the ballgame.
The second half is more the brand of basketball the Eagles wanted to play.
“We looked like a different team in the second half,” said Breshers.
With the defeat Lindbergh has not won consecutive games this season, but for Breshers in his first season it is about consistency and learning. The Eagles are an extremely young team; there is only one senior on the varsity roster, Gabe Thomas.
“It’s about consistency … We are a very young team. If you asked one of the guys they would not have expected to be in the playoff mix. I’m taking it one day at a time,” Breshers said.
Lindbergh has another tough task this week when they take on the as they take on undefeated crosstown rival Renton Thursday, Jan. 12, and travel to Auburn Mountainview Saturday, Jan. 14.